1. Be Visible. Obviously you can’t always wear bright colors. Instead, consider keeping something bright or reflective on hand. This could be a reflective vest, an LED wristband, a flashlight, or headlamp. Most pedestrian accidents happen at night, which starts early in the winter.
2. Always use the sidewalk. If you don’t have access to a sidewalk, the next best thing is to walk on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic. This will allow cars to see you and you to see cars.
3. Only cross at crosswalks, when possible. It can be tempting to run across the street quickly after looking both ways. Maybe the crosswalk is too far away, or you decide to risk it since you see no cars coming. However, cars are much more likely to stop when they see an upcoming crosswalk, and may not be prepared to stop for an unexpected pedestrian. Using designated crosswalks will greatly increase your safety. Most pedestrian accidents happen at a non-crosswalk area.
4. Avoid headphones. Not being able to hear cars and other things in your environment can increase your danger. You won’t be able to hear if something is approaching, such as a car that went off the road. If you are intoxicated, this is even more important, since the combination of headphones and intoxication can throw you off balance and disturb your coordination.
5. Never assume cars will follow traffic laws. It may be natural to assume that cars will follow traffic and safety laws, but that’s not the case. There are plenty of scenarios where a car will run a stop sign or turn right while pedestrians are crossing the street. The best thing for pedestrians to do is to keep an eye on surrounding cars and watch what they’re doing. If you haven’t followed tip number one about being visible, it’s even more likely that a car may not see you. It’s your duty as a pedestrian to stay vigilant and protect yourself.