Pedestrian Safety: How to Stay Safe When Using Sidewalks and Walkways

Pedestrian Safety

In 2020 alone, over 7,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States. While numbers fluctuate, it’s still a major problem that occurs in the country each year. The United States is largely made for car travel, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t make a country that prioritizes pedestrian safety. If you like to walk, you want to bring about pedestrian safety.

This comprehensive guide will show you how to walk safely and increase your situational awareness. This can make our streets safer for all pedestrians.

Let’s get started with basic safety tips:

Basic Safety Tips for Pedestrians

You know that you have to look both ways when you cross the street. While you’ve known this from your childhood, do you actually do this?

If you are crossing a one-way street you might not do this. However, you have to always expect the most absurd situation. You have to expect some drivers to be driving toward the traffic.

You’ll have to expect someone to take a U-Turn when it’s not permitted. While these are rare situations, they’ll help in preventing future accidents.

You have to also have situational awareness. Remember, it’s also possible to be harmed by other pedestrians. You must keep a look out for potential muggers for instance.

Let’s now look a bit deeper into what you’ll need to cultivate situational awareness.

Protecting Yourself from Other Pedestrians

Depending on where you live, you have varying degrees of situational awareness.

You might feel safe wandering aimlessly around Downtown Miami. But you have to be more on your guard walking around Chicago’s South Side.

Make sure that you keep your eyes peeled as a pedestrian. For example, let’s return to the previous scenario when you’re crossing the street. You’ll be focused on watching the road for cars.

This is when a mugger will take advantage of you. As you’re focused on the road, they’ll be focused on your pockets! You have to find a way to be aware of the cars on the road and muggers.

If this is difficult, consider placing your valuables elsewhere. If you live in a cold climate, place your wallet, keys, and phone in your jacket’s inner pocket. 

But what happens if you live in a warmer climate? In this case, you might have to tuck in your valuables. For example, you can wear a money belt rather than carrying a wallet.

Consider keeping your phone in a shirt pocket. You can also consider leaving your phone at home if you’re out for a short time and won’t need it.

How to Present Yourself

Now let’s look at how you should present yourself when you’re a pedestrian. Let’s say you’re going out late at night. You must wear brighter clothing so you make yourself visible.

For example, let’s say you have to wear a black jacket at night. If no other jacket is available, consider wearing lighter jeans. If you can keep your jacket unbuttoned, wear a white T-shirt.

If you live in a safe area, you might even want to wear some flashy jewelry. You want to make sure that you can easily be seen by a person who is driving in the dark.

Avoid Distracting Yourself

It’s normal for us to check our text messages as we cross the road. Or get lost in our favorite audiobook, as our AirPods tell us who the killer was!

But if you’re catching up on the latest gossip or audio content, you’ll make yourself a target. You’ll cross the street while cars are driving rapidly.

When you have to cross the street, you must be alert. When walking in a crowd, you’ll have to be alert as well. You might go for walks in order to catch up on your audio content.

But there are times when you’ll have to put your headphones away. For example, if you’re in a crowded area you might want to put your headphones away.

In this scenario, you’ll be engaged with your audio content. You’ll also be overwhelmed by the crowd. This is when a mugger might take advantage of you.

There are times when it’s okay to have some minor distractions. But in most cases, when you’re a pedestrian you want to avoid anything that can distract you.

Your Health as a Pedestrian

A huge part of being a pedestrian is to look after your health. Now, the fact that you’re a pedestrian is a huge step forward. It means that you’re building your health and energy.

One of the dangers that can come to pedestrians is being in bad shape. You must make sure you aim to maintain your ideal weight. If you’re underweight or overweight, you can pass out as a pedestrian.

While there might be good samaritans who help you, this isn’t always the case. You have to rely on yourself at all times. As a result, make sure you prioritize your health.

This also means that you should avoid unhealthy behavior as a pedestrian. For example, you should not be consuming alcohol as a pedestrian. But what happens if you’ve already been drinking?

You have to become sober before you go for your walk. Always drink lots of water while your drinking alcohol. Relieve yourself in the bathroom before going for a walk. Wash your face thoroughly to make sure you feel fresh and energized.

You also have to eat carefully before you go out. Eating heavy foods can make you feel lethargic. Try to avoid bread and excessive meat before you go out. You must feel light on your stomach in order to feel light on your feet.

Using Short Leashes

What happens when you’re crossing a busy junction with your dog? There’s always the chance that your dog might attack another dog. This can cause issues as you’re crossing the street. It can also cause problems as a crowd disperses.

By having your dog on a short leash, you’ll be able to keep them near you. It’s easier to restrain them if they’re unable to control themselves.

If possible, take your dog for a walk in the park. This is often a better option than taking them on a public street. You want to try to focus on your own well-being and not another person’s — unless you have to!

But, of course, there are instances where you must help others. Let’s now look at how we can make improve pedestrian safety for others.

Helping Others

There’ll always be other pedestrians who might need to depend on others for their safety.

As mentioned earlier, you have to protect and assist children when crossing the street. It’s also important to work toward measures to ensure children’s safety.

Make sure there are crossing guards at your local schools. These are volunteers who help children cross the street safely. They’ll also direct traffic and ensure that speed limits are being followed.

You must also help the elderly and disabled when crossing the street. Offer to help someone cross the street if they can’t do it on their own. It’s also important to have traffic police in busy junctions. This is how you can protect the most vulnerable pedestrians.

Best Practices

Let’s end with the most important best practices to ensure you help improve pedestrian safety.

First, make sure you acquaint yourself with a great lawyer. Hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial to fight for pedestrian rights. They can fight cases against reckless drivers. 

As we work to make the United States a better place where we can walk safely, we need lawyers to help us in the fight. It’s also important to share this guide with other pedestrians.

A major issue for pedestrians is reckless drivers. But so many of us depend on driving and have no other way to commute. We need to encourage more people to use public transportation for their commute.

If public transportation is poor in your area then you can encourage ride-sharing solutions. This is a great way to have fewer cars on the road. If you live in a city where walking is easy, then you must encourage people to walk!

In a city like New York City or Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, it’s sufficient for people to walk. If you follow these best practices you’ll have no problem with your own safety. You’ll also help encourage others to take precautions and there’ll be more pedestrian safety.

Please share this guide with others. Share it with your local city council so they can educate the public on pedestrian safety.

Ensure Pedestrian Safety

Now you know what it takes to ensure pedestrian safety for yourself and others.

You have to learn how to protect yourself from other pedestrians at times. Look both ways and work on improving your situational awareness at all times.

You must also use short leashes to keep your dogs protected. Make sure you also help the elderly and disabled at busy junctions. Follow our best practices to encourage a culture that’s more suited toward pedestrians. After all this reading you might want to go for a stroll. But how about your first scroll through our website for similar content?

Salina is a professional blogger and marketer. She has an excellent talent for writing. She is very much passionate about contributing her ideas on online platforms. Generally, she shared her thoughts on trendy topics such as health, beauty, travel, food, fashion, technology, business, finance, and so on.