As an individual walking outside, it can be easy to forget how defenseless you are to cars and trucks that are on the road. A recent NPR article reports pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes at a 25-year high. What tips can you follow to avoid an accident?
Abide by Tennessee pedestrian laws
It is important to follow the pedestrian control signals of “WALK,” “WAIT” and “DON’T WALK.” Walking when the signal says to wait or don’t walk can put you in great danger. Similarly, jay-walking can leave you defenseless to possible cars on the road.
Wear bright clothing
Even when it is not dark, this is important. Wearing dark or muted colors during the day can make it so that you go unnoticed to drivers who are not actively searching for pedestrians in their path. If possible, wearing a reflective jacket or hat can make you even more visible.
Make drivers see you
Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street, crosswalk or intersection. This is especially important when you are at an intersection waiting to cross the street, and there are cars waiting to turn right. Many drivers do not look for pedestrians before they make a right or left turn while in an intersection. By making eye contact with these drivers, you can make sure they see you.
Avoid walking at night
The majority of pedestrian accidents occur in the evening, when it is dark. Walking at night leaves pedestrians vulnerable to drunk drivers as well as drivers who simply do not see pedestrians due to the lack of light. If you must walk at night, wearing reflective clothing can be beneficial.