As a pedestrian, how to avoid accidents and be safe on roads?

We are all aware of how easy it is to get complacent about safety, whether at home or out and about. Even when we’re driving, the familiarity of our automobile and our normal route can lead to complacency and allow undesirable habits to form. While not everyone drives a car, we are all pedestrians at some point during the day. And whether you’re driving or crossing the street on foot, we all share responsibility for each other’s safety. With the present emphasis on altering habits to help save our planet, encouraging people to leave their polluting vehicles at home and walk as much as possible, we should also be mindful of the hazards to pedestrians while walking, running, or crossing roads. Here are some tips to avoid accidents on road for pedestrians-

“Day 323 – Road Safety Week” by West Midlands Police is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Prepare a safe walking route 

Keep to the sidewalks and crosswalks. Avoid walking in areas with no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you must walk on a road without sidewalks, walk facing traffic. When feasible, cross at intersections. When pedestrians cross the street in places other than junctions, they are more likely to be hit by a car. Always keep an eye out for traffic on the right, left, and right. Stop at the curb and check for traffic to the right, left, then right again. Stopping at the curb alerts cars that you intend to cross the street. Cross only at marked crosswalks and follow all traffic signals. When the traffic light is green, use a zebra crossing to keep yourself safe. While crossing, take a look around and pay close attention to the traffic so that you can correctly identify moving vehicles.

Obey all signs and signals

While driving your car, be sure you obey all traffic laws. All traffic safety standards have been developed with the safety of everyone on the road in mind, including pedestrians. Maintain the necessary spacing between the cars. While driving your car, make sure you respect all other drivers on the road. Allow traffic to pass if it is approaching. Take another look around and listen. Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are confident that you have enough time. Remember that even if traffic appears to be a long way away, it could be approaching very rapidly. 

Beware of obstacles

If you must pass between parked cars, use the outside edges of the vehicles as if they were curbs. Stop there to ensure that you can see everything around you and that the traffic can see you. Make sure there is enough space between any parked vehicles on the other side to reach the footway or sidewalk. Crossing the road in front of or behind a car with its engine running, especially a large vehicle, is dangerous since the driver may not see you. Never cross in front of a vehicle that is reversing, flashing white reverse lights, or emitting a warning horn. Always double-check that traffic has stopped before beginning to cross or pushing a pram onto the crossing. 

Be more visible

Make it easier for other drivers to see you. In low-light situations, wear or carry anything light-colored, brilliant, or fluorescent. When it’s dark, wear reflective fabrics (such as armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, and footwear), which can be seen by cars using headlights up to three times farther away than non-reflective materials. Find a safe crossing point with enough space to reach the footway or footpath on the opposite side. Use the nearest crossing if one is available. It is safer to cross on a subway, a footbridge, an island, a zebra, pelican, toucan, or puffin crossing, or if a police officer or school crossing patrol is present.

Conclusion

Paying attention is the most crucial safety measure for reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities. By following traffic rules and being aware of the hazards posed by cars in your neighborhood, you can considerably lower your chances of being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. If feasible, make eye contact with drivers and ensure that they can see you. Young children should not be left alone on the road, footpath, or highway. When taking youngsters out, keep a safe distance between them and oncoming cars and hold their hands firmly. Use reins or straps to secure extremely young children in pushchairs. When pushing a young child in a buggy, do not push the buggy into the road to assess if it is safe to cross, especially if it is between parked vehicles.