Pedestrians have nothing to protect them if they get struck by a motor vehicle. The collisions between cars and people are often very one-sided, with the pedestrian suffering severe injuries, while the driver of the vehicle involved may not even end up with a bruise or damage to their vehicle’s paint.
Many pedestrian collisions are the result of bad driving habits. Pedestrians get hit by drunk drivers and distracted drivers who don’t keep their eyes on the road. However, pedestrians also end up hurt through their own mistakes sometimes.
If you understand the ways that pedestrians contribute to their own risk of getting hurt, you can keep yourself a little safer on your next walk.
Don’t walk while drunk or distracted
It probably seems like a much more responsible decision to walk home than to try to drive if you’ve had too much to drink. However, alcohol in your bloodstream can be just as dangerous as alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream. You could step out in front of a vehicle and get hurt.
The same is true if you distract yourself while walking. If you don’t look up from your phone, you might step right out in front of an oncoming vehicle.
Choose where you cross wisely
There are marked pedestrian crossing areas for a reason. Drivers don’t expect to encounter pedestrians and therefore don’t watch for them as carefully as they should. Drivers are the most likely to notice you when you cross at places where they expect to see you. As an added bonus, most marked pedestrian crossings will also be near street lights, which can help you early in the morning or after the sun sets.
Know the speed limit along your route
One of the biggest contributing factors to the degree of injury a pedestrian suffers in a crash is the speed of the motor vehicle. Vehicles traveling at higher speeds are much more likely to cause severe injury or death, in addition to having a harder time stopping quickly. Trying to plan your route so that you walk in areas with lower speed limits could potentially save your life.
Of course, you could take every safety measure possible and still end up hurt because of a driver who is overtly negligent at the wheel. You may be able to make a claim against the driver’s insurance or even take them to civil court. Knowing about the rules that apply after a pedestrian collision can help you as much as following the best safety practices when out walking.