No matter which model of transportation one chooses; be it car, truck, or bicycle, consideration must still be made when acting as a pedestrian. According to “Everyone is a Pedestrian”, brought to the general public by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2012, totaling 4,743 deaths.”
This figure is especially astounding when one considers that, as mentioned by the NHTSA, a pedestrian is killed approximately every two hours and injured through a traffic accident every seven minutes on average. Moreover, 3% of those injured in traffic crashes are typically pedestrians, according to the NHTSA.
As noted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration are working hard to ensure that awareness is raised of the potential dangers that roadways can pose to pedestrians. A part of that awareness is educating the public on ways that they can ensure their safety when acting as pedestrians on the road.
With this in mind, here are a few safety tips to take note of when you are walking on Texas roads.
- If you are not present in a vehicle, remember that you are a pedestrian! Use caution and stay safe when sharing the road.
- Follow the rules of the road, even when walking! This means obeying all traffic signs and signals.
- When possible, walk on the sidewalk and not on the street.
- If no sidewalk is present, follow the flow of the traffic, while keeping as far away from moving vehicles as possible.
- When crossing streets, use designated crosswalks or intersections when possible.
- If no crosswalk or intersection is available, walk across the most well-lit area with the highest points of visibility.
- Wear bright clothing during the day, and reflective clothing when walking at night. Maintaining visibility is extremely important.
- Do not assume that a driver can see you! Ensure that eye contact is made and you are implementing caution, regardless of how visible you may be.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or anything else that might impair your judgment or pull focus away from the road.
- Most importantly, keep alert! Avoid distractions such as talking on the phone and texting. Make sure that your eyes are on the roadway at all times!
Parents and Children
- Talk to children about the importance of safety when crossing roads or walking on sidewalks. Ensure that they understand traffic signals and the rules of the road.
- Children that are under the age of 10 should always cross the street with an adult.
- Teach children the importance of using caution and safety when walking.
- No matter how old the child, always ensure that you have their safety in mind when walking.
Although it is important for drivers to use caution around pedestrians, it is equally important that individuals using walkways and traveling by foot do their part.