The very smallest car on the road weighs ten times more than the average person. Even a tiny subcompact car weighs over 2,000 pounds, and the average SUV tips the scales at about 5,000 pounds. These vehicles travel at a much higher rate of speed than a person walking, and they are made of rigid metal parts. When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it doesn’t matter who has the right of way. The pedestrian is the one who will suffer.
Pedestrians need to take steps to preserve their own safety because drivers cannot be counted on to follow or even know the rules. Walk smart to stay safe in the DMV.
Put Away the Phone
Our phones can do everything, and they keep us in touch with the world. It’s hard to avoid the temptation to read just one more social media post or answer an urgent message.
But when your attention is on your phone, you are not aware of your surroundings. Newer cars—especially electric and hybrid vehicles—approach with virtually no noise. The only sound you hear from many electric vehicles comes from the tires on the road, and that noise is barely noticeable when the vehicle is moving at city speed. A phone in your hand makes you very vulnerable as a pedestrian.
Wait for the Right Time to Cross
If you’re at a traffic signal, wait for the green light or walk signal. If there is no signal, make sure you cannot see traffic approaching from any direction before crossing. Drivers may have an obligation to yield to you as a pedestrian, but there is no guarantee they will honor that obligation. They might not see you or they might just not care. Don’t take that chance.
Cross in the Right Place
The best place to cross the street is a marked crosswalk with a visible traffic signal. When you don’t have the option of a marked crosswalk, move down to the corner before crossing. If the sidewalk or path you are on continues on the other side of the road, then it is usually considered an unmarked crosswalk, and this is where pedestrians are supposed to cross according to the law.
Look and Listen
Don’t just look both ways before crossing—look around you in all directions. Cars can approach you from driveways, parking spots, and unexpected locations, even on a one-way street. Keep looking in all directions until you have reached the other side. Reckless drivers often run over curbs, so stay away from the edge if possible.
Remember that Safety is for Life
When you practice safe habits as a pedestrian, you model good behavior for others, including your children. Be sure to teach them the importance of caution and awareness when crossing the street.
As a personal injury law firm, we sometimes work with pedestrians who may have been able to avoid their injuries if they had watched more closely for reckless drivers. Even though the driver was at fault and had to pay damages, we still hate to see pedestrians suffer. We urge you to take precautions to protect yourself and your children. Contact Johnnie Bond Law today for a free consultation.