Anyone choosing to travel on foot is vulnerable to multiple outdoor elements. Not only can the weather impair visibility, but there are often many sounds and distractions everywhere. Pedestrians must practice defensive walking while commuting.
Defensive walking is understanding that if an accident was to occur, the person walking would most likely suffer the greatest damages. Therefore, it is the one on-foot who must be alert and defensive to your own safety and well-being.
Here are some must know tips for people commuting by foot:
- Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the road – Eye contact ensures that the driver sees your presence and is not likely to make a turn while you are stepping out to cross the street.
- Don’t be distracted yourself – If you are a distracted walker, you may blindly have an accident with a distracted bicyclist or motorist. Avoid the possibility of becoming an accident victim by eliminating your own distractions. Stay off your cellphone, don’t be listening to music, and keep your eyes on the road and the signals.
- Be patient and alert with drivers – Watch out for drivers who are texting at a red light, checking their phones or not paying attention to you. Some drivers may be looking at their GPS and changing lanes unexpectedly. When you’re aware of your surroundings, you are better able to avoid a potential accident all together.
- Obey the rules – Following the rules of where to cross the street and when keeps the flow of traffic in order. If you do get in an accident, you are protected when you followed the laws and the driver did not.
Many people choose to walk to their destination, to the bus/train stop and deserve to go about their business safely. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and any young children who are walking by your side. Don’t assume other drivers are watching out for you or have your best interest in mind. Many distractions have cost lives each year on the roads. If you can help it, don’t be a victim.