Alternative methods of transportation have been on the rise over the past couple of years. And options like walking are especially popular as a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly choice for transportation.
But while walking can be great for the environment and your health, it can be dangerous. A has shown an increase in pedestrian fatalities in the United States; 2018 had the highest projected number of deaths since 1990.
With such a startling increase, it’s even more crucial to take precautions when you’re walking around town. Consider the following tips for staying safe on your commute:
- Put your phone away. We’re all attached to our smartphones, but that attachment can cause terrible accidents. Just as drivers on the road can be distracted by their phones, so can pedestrians. It’s best to keep your phone tucked away in your pocket or bag, especially when crossing an intersection.
- Walk on the sidewalk. Don’t endanger yourself by walking near moving traffic. Stay on the sidewalk when there is one, otherwise walk facing traffic so that you can see when cars are approaching.
- Obey the rules of the road. Pay attention to crosswalk signs and signals, look both ways before crossing the street and check for any cars making a turn at the intersection before you cross.
- Don’t wear headphones when crossing the street. It’s vital that you can hear the cars around you, and with headphones on, you may not hear the honking of a car until it’s too late.
- Wear bright colors or reflectors. Make yourself easily visible to drivers by wearing clothing that stands out or using reflective vests or jackets, especially when you’re out at night.
- Cross at well-lit streets. It can be more difficult to see pedestrians when it’s dark, so protect your safety by crossing at intersections that have proper lighting. It can be safer for you to walk to the next intersection before crossing.
Unfortunately, we cannot trust motorists to share the road with pedestrians responsibly, so pedestrians must prioritize safe behaviors, as they are typically the ones who suffer the most in an accident. No matter if you’re walking to work in the morning, heading to a doctor’s appointment, or meeting a friend for dinner, you must be careful every step of the way.