Most people are aware of how distracted driving—such as eating, talking on a cellphone, or texting—causes crashes. Not many worry about the dangers of distracted walking as a pedestrian. However, with so many people having their cellphones glued in their hands at all times, it is not surprising to see so many people walking in neighborhoods or on busy city streets navigating traffic with their eyes on their phones instead of the road.
Seven Ways to Avoid Pedestrian Distracted Walking Crashes
According to the National Safety Council, 6,100 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents in 2013. Many of those injured and killed in pedestrian wrecks were 19 years old or younger, which makes sense since this age group uses their cellphones and texts constantly. Cellphone usage is not the only way pedestrians can be distracted. Talking and eating while walking can also take their attention away from the traffic around them. Ways to stay safe include:
- Look left, then right, and finally left one last time before crossing a road to be certain you do not see any oncoming vehicles.
- Do not ever use a cellphone or other electronic device while walking.
- Do not use earphones or headphones while walking.
- Make eye contact with oncoming drivers before crossing the road.
- When crossing the street, be aware of the vehicles around you. You could still be in the driver’s blind spot or he may be distracted and not see you.
- Never rely on a car to stop.
- Children under 10 years old should always cross the street with an adult.
- Only cross a road at the crosswalk.
- Wear bright or reflective clothes—especially at night on dark roads.
Even if you follow these safety tips, the driver who hit you could have been engaged in distracted driving or was otherwise negligent.
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