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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

How pedestrians can reduce the risk of being in accidents

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists need to share the roadways safely. Unfortunately, many pedestrians end up getting hurt or worse when they are just trying to get from Point A to Point B. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, over 5,000 pedestrians died in car accidents in 2015 alone.

There are plenty of things motorists can do to reduce the likelihood of an accident. From avoiding driving while intoxicated to never getting distracted while behind the wheel, anyone operating a vehicle should take steps to be vigilant. However, there are steps pedestrians can take, too.

Avoid distractions

In the same way that drivers should avoid distractions, pedestrians need to keep both eyes on the road all the time. They should not look at their phones while walking. Even something like listening to music can prevent a person from hearing vital sounds, such as a car approaching.

Wear bright clothes at night

Walking at night is generally not recommended. However, if people are going to do this, then they should make sure all drivers can see them by wearing bright clothing and investing in reflective devices.

Make eye contact with drivers

Before crossing the street, it is good to make eye contact with any drivers who have stopped. Pedestrians should never assume a driver is paying full attention or they may get hit. When in doubt, stay put until the driver makes some kind of signal.

Plan out the route beforehand

If people know where they will be going, then it is advantageous to map out the walk before leaving the house. This will help them know ahead of time if there will be a sidewalk and if there will be good lighting.

Be mindful of parking lots and driveways

When coming across a driveway, parking lot or any other area a driver may back out of, it is important to halt for a moment and check for moving vehicles. In the event there is a driver, pedestrians should wait until the motorist acknowledges their presence.

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