Most pedestrian accidents happen at night. Drunk drivers may be out on the road, and darker conditions can decrease both visibility and drivers’ depth perception. However, it is possible to keep yourself safe.
Don’t drink and walk.
Especially if you want to avoid drinking and driving, walking at night can seem like an ideal solution. However, alcohol can impact your ability to walk safely, and almost half of pedestrian accidents involve alcohol consumption on the part of the driver, the pedestrian or both. Alcohol can impair your judgment, and after drinking you may take risks that you would otherwise avoid like crossing streets before the walk signal is lit. Limited reaction times can make you unable to avoid vehicles, tripping hazards and other dangers.
Walk facing traffic.
If you are used to driving, it can seem counter-intuitive to walk on the left side of the road. However, facing traffic allows you to see headlights much earlier and to react to dangers.
Prepare for decreased visibility.
As we rely on dim street lights, headlights and even flashlights to show us the way after sunset, it is easy to see why three quarters of accidents occur after dark. You can make yourself safer by making yourself more visible. Consider wearing reflective clothing like arm or ankle bands or even a brightly colored jacket that will allow drivers to see you sooner. You can also wear a head lamp to light your way between streetlights.
Keep your phone charged and your ID with you.
While taking precautions can help you avoid many accidents, you may still be injured while walking at night. Having a fully charged phone will allow you to contact help in case of an emergency, while your identification can help others contact your loved ones if you are injured.
By taking precautions, you can keep yourself safe while walking, day or night.