Even if you spend more time using your vehicle for transportation rather than your feet, you will most likely end up walking at some point – even if it is just to and from your vehicle as you work, run errands, and spend time with your friends and family.
On the other hand, you may enjoy walking as a form of exercise, as a way to get more fresh air and sunshine, or just to clear your head. In any case, you will often find yourself sharing space with motor vehicles that could cause you serious injuries.
What you can do to increase your safety
You can take several steps that may increase your ability to get to your destination safely as you walk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, doing the following may help get you home safely at the end of your day:
- The last thing you should do as a pedestrian is assume a vehicle driver sees you. Far too many people lose their lives due to distracted drivers.
- It follows that you may want to make sure you aren’t distracted yourself. Pay attention to your surroundings and watch for vehicles even if you feel you are walking in a safe area.
- Use the sidewalks when available. If not, then walk against the flow of traffic so you can see what’s coming at you and stay as far off the road as possible.
- As often as possible, cross at intersections or on crosswalks – at least where drivers would expect to find pedestrians. The more predictable you are by following the rules, the more likely a vehicle driver will be on the lookout for you and other people who are walking.
- Watch out for vehicles pulling into or out of parking spaces and vehicles exiting or entering driveways.
- Do what you can to remain visible. For instance, use a flashlight and wear reflective clothing at night.
Of course, even if you do all these things, no one can guarantee your safety as you walk. Drivers must also do their part by paying attention and looking out for obstacles, other vehicles and pedestrians. If a motorist fails to make your safety a priority, you could end up suffering serious injuries, which could mean a long recovery, expensive medical bills, lost income and other damages.
You may exercise your right to pursue the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled by filing a personal injury claim in a California civil court. In order to make this process easier on you so you can focus on your recovery, you could consult with an experienced attorney.