Sometimes it’s easy to forget that as long as you aren’t inside your vehicle, you’re a pedestrian. Pedestrian safety is not a “them” and “us” scenario, but instead a collaborative effort to keep all of us safe, whether driving to the kids’ soccer practice or walking the dog.
In that spirit, here are some safety tips for both the pedestrians and drivers out there who are looking to make our roads safer for everyone.
When You’re A Pedestrian
- Don’t be unpredictable. Follow the signs and signals of the road and be where motor vehicles expect you to be.
- Always use a sidewalk, and if one is not available remember to walk against traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
- Cellphones don’t only distract drivers; make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings when walking, and don’t have your head buried in a text message.
- Use crosswalks and intersections to cross streets, and avoid jaywalking. If you’re forced to cross a street in the absence of an intersection, find a well-lit area where you can see traffic coming well in advance.
- Make eye contact with drivers before stepping out onto the street; don’t just assume they see you.
- Wear bright colors during the day and reflective material during the evening and night. To be seen is to be safe.
- Watch for cars coming out of driveways and parking lots; they can sneak up on you.
When You’re a Driver
- Never drive distracted. It is simply the easiest way to be involved in an accident, whether it’s with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
- Never drive drunk or under the impairment of other drugs. It’s illegal and it can cost someone his or her life.
- If the weather conditions are bad or you’re driving at night and visibility is an issue, use extra caution.
- Look for pedestrians at crosswalks and when you’re turning both left and right.
- When yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk, stop well back from the crossing area so other vehicles can see the pedestrians too.
- Do not pass vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk. Pedestrians may be crossing, even if you can’t see them.
- Drive the speed limit, especially in school zones and park areas where children may be present.
- Use extreme caution when backing out of driveways and parking lots.
It’s up to all of us to make our Virginia roads safer. Follow these tips to ensure you’re a good driver and a good pedestrian.
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC works with northern Virginia pedestrians who have been injured by the negligent driving of others. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.
A representative of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.