Walking around traffic requires the same critical thinking skills as riding a bike and driving a motor vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Still, pedestrians are at a great safety disadvantage when sharing the road with drivers.
While the number of pedestrian deaths from automobile accidents has decreased by 35 percent since 1975, pedestrian crash deaths still account for 15 percent of all crash deaths.
The NHTSA offers a few tips to help avoid being involved in a motor vehicle crash as a pedestrian:
- Increase your visibility by wearing bright clothing, using reflective gear, and using lights at night.
- Follow rules and laws put in place to increase pedestrian safety. Obey pedestrian crossing signals, and walk on sidewalks when possible. When there are no sidewalks, walk to the far left and face traffic.
- Look in all directions for traffic.
- Be focused and alert while walking, and avoid distractions such as cell phones and music.
- Be aware of the common types of auto accidents involving pedestrians to help avoid them.
The NHTSA explains that distracted driving and/or walking can be influencing factors in many crashes. To combat the threat of distraction on the road, the agency urges everyone to always stay focused and alert on the roadway.