Staying Safe as a Pedestrian

When we think about travel safety, we often focus on driving. However, the phrase “I could get hit by a bus” exists for a reason. Walking around town comes with its own risks and safety hazards. When you’re walking you’re at a unique disadvantage — you’re going up against a 2,000-pound car, after all. If you’re on a bicycle, you face even more challenges as risks. Some cars hug the bike lane. Some roads don’t even have bike lanes and you’re tasked with sharing the road with cars eager to drive around you. For those reasons, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you get home safely, even if you have to cross a few roads and avoid some buses.

Be Seen!

While you probably don’t want to wear an orange safety vest everywhere you go, it can be helpful to wear bright colors, especially at night. When you’re about to cross a street, make sure to stand clear of large trucks and buses which might obstruct drivers’ ability to see you as they approach the crosswalk. If you’re walking at night in dimly lit areas, consider bringing a flashlight so drivers can see you from a distance.

Pay Attention!

It’s important to stay in the crosswalk as a pedestrian. Drivers are conditioned to expect you there, not in the middle of the road. Also be sure to make eye contact with drivers before you cross. Be sure that they’re paying attention and acknowledge your presence. Just because the light is red doesn’t mean the guy behind the wheel has decided to stop.

It should go without saying, but some people still don’t look both ways before crossing the street. Obey the signals and, for the sake of all of us, please look up from your phone as you walk across busy intersections.