8 Tips for Walking Safely as a Pedestrian

If you live in a metro area or enjoy a nice trip into town, you’re likely spending a ton of time walking in public spaces. While walking may seem like one of the safest activities out there, reckless behaviors in public can make walking much less safe for yourself, and everyone around you. Certain behaviors need to be avoided to ensure you walk in a safe, considerate manner. Here are eight useful tips for walking safely as a pedestrian:

1. Always Remain on Walkways

Even if you can cut across a lawn, or a non-traffic heavy roadway, doing so is always dangerous. You could both be violating the law, and putting yourself at risk of injury, anytime you decide to ditch public walkways to forge your own path. That being said, if you’re injured on a public walkway due to poor maintenance, you should consider contacting a professional pedestrian accident attorney to seek legal assistance.

2. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Nothing is as important as staying vigilant and aware when it comes to staying safe as a pedestrian. If you allow yourself to suddenly ignore your surroundings, you could easily slip and fall, run into a hazardous object, or knock someone else down, after all. By being responsible and aware of your surroundings, you help to keep the entire public sphere safer.

3. Avoid Public Intoxication

Being intoxicated will seriously harm your judgment, and will increase your chances of either causing or becoming the victim of a pedestrian accident. Even if your medicine is making you feel intoxicated, you should be extremely careful about how you interact with public spaces. Intoxicated individuals are more likely to become victims of accidents, and crimes, so staying in control of your sobriety is key to public safety.

4. Do Not Assume Drivers Can See You

Many drivers are distracted at any given moment. Additionally, if a driver is focusing on the road, they are not considering whether or not a citizen might suddenly appear in their path. When you’re on the road without need, you’re putting yourself and drivers at serious risk of bodily harm. Even minor pedestrian accidents involving vehicles can lead to devastating injuries and even death in some cases.

5. Use Proper Crosswalk Etiquette

Crosswalks are the key tool used to allow pedestrians to move about in busy, traffic-heavy areas. They are simple to understand and follow (if you’re being responsible). Always ensure that you’re waiting for the walk signal and that you never assume that the stop signal is going to suddenly turn to walk when you begin crossing the road. If you follow this rule, you keep crosswalks safe for the public.

6. Never Jaywalk

Jaywalking is a punishable crime for a reason. When you cross a road without adhering to traffic laws, you’re causing a hazard that could seriously distract and detour people driving, while simultaneously putting yourself at great risk. By avoiding this reckless behavior you’ll be saving yourself a costly ticket and a potential trip to the hospital. Be intelligent, and never, ever jaywalk.

7. Stay Visible at All Times

If you’re walking in public spaces at night, the lighting that’s meant to protect you is not always as strong as it should be. You should avoid areas that are poorly lit if at all possible. Additionally, if you’re walking near roadways, wearing bright or reflective clothing is highly recommended. This will ensure that everyone can see you, and this ensures that you can use crosswalks and other public walking spaces in a safe manner.

8. Do Not Text and Walk

It’s incredibly dangerous to text and walk in heavily-trafficked public spaces. While the practice may seem harmless (after all, haven’t we all done it once or twice), it can lead to dangerous collisions, trips, falls, and more. You lack the awareness you need to exist in public when you’re constantly looking at your phone as you walk. Anytime you’re walking in a full-on crowd, you should be paying attention. Otherwise, you may knock someone over and cause them great bodily harm. And then, you could be held legally and financially responsible for any damages you might have caused them to suffer.

Stay Aware, Responsible, and Considerate While in Public

Although it’s common sense, many people fail to consistently exist in public in a responsible, aware, and considerate fashion. The more considerate you are of others around you, the better the world becomes. If you avoid these eight dangerous habits in public spaces, you’ll make your community a better, safer place to live.

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