Walking to work or school is a daily occurrence for many people. Some people listen to their favorite audio book, while others play Candy Crush on their smartphone, all to pass the time. While it’s true that walking to work or school often saves money on gas and travel expenses, walking can be a hazardous experience if you don’t pay attention to world around you. There are a few things you can do, both as a driver and a pedestrian, to help minimize the risks of a pedestrian accident.
As a Pedestrian:
- Don’t jump out into a crosswalk without looking first. Just because you’re “protected” by a crosswalk, doesn’t mean that a car can see you in time to stop.
- Look up from your phone. This is especially important around driveways and busy streets. If you have headphones in, consider keeping an ear bud out of one ear so you can still hear traffic and possible hazards to avoid.
- When walking at night, make yourself known by wearing bright clothing or by turning the brightness up on your cell phone.
- Stay on the sidewalk. Don’t risk jaywalking even if it will save you time. You could not only be injured but be hit with an expensive jaywalking ticket.
- If using a bus, wait for the bus to drive away before trying to cross the street. Cars that pass the bus likely won’t see you until then.
As a Driver:
- Don’t trust the mirrors. Looking in a mirror usually isn’t enough, check the blind spot for bikers, joggers, or another car. Someone could appear out of nowhere if you switch lanes after having just checked your mirror. It’s takes an extra couple seconds of time and it could save you thousands of dollars of headache.
- Don’t text and drive. Did you know that in most states, texting and driving is considered the same as a DUI? It’s taken so seriously because it impairs drivers on a level where you could seriously injure somebody. Pay attention to the road and let your phone have a rest while you drive. It will still be there after you’re done driving.
- Do not assume a pedestrian sees or hears you (often times because they’ll be wearing earphones). Some pedestrians (and bikers) also automatically assume that the road will yield to them. You need to drive knowing this. Pay attention to jaywalkers or people who jump out into a crosswalk without looking, it happens all the time.
Walking & driving is a daily ritual for most people but not everyone is always paying attention. When you turn that key, or take that step, make sure to remember that alertness is key in avoiding accident or injury. If you are ever involved in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to come see us at Handy and Handy Law in Salt Lake City.