As that warmer days approach (I promise, they’re approaching), the streets will be bustling with pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists that were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. Whether you’re on a bicycle or going for a run, there are a few safety precautions you should take as a pedestrian.
- Make sure you’re visible to drivers. Wearing bright colors, reflective clothing, or flashing lights will increase your visibility and signal drivers to slow down. This is especially important around dusk and after dark.
- Know where you belong. Walkers and runners should be on the side of the road as far to the left as possible or on a paved shoulder going against oncoming traffic. Bicyclists should always ride with the traffic. Sidewalks are obviously safer than roads, but watch for driveway traffic.
- Make sure drivers see you. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and don’t assume just because you can see them, they’ve seen you.
- Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible; never cross mid-block. When crossing on a green light, watch in all directions for turning cars.
When everyone is cautious and courteous of others, it’s safe to get around on foot or by bike. Sharing public spaces with vehicle traffic takes extra care and attention.