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The 6 Most Common Mistakes Pedestrians Make - and How to Avoid Them

Wednesday, November 15, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

We frequently hear about car accidents that are caused by drunk driving or distracted driving, but not as much is said about pedestrian responsibility for being hit by a car. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the driver of a vehicle to avoid hitting a pedestrian, however there are six common mistakes that pedestrians make while walking that increase their risk of being hit by a car. Pedestrian safety is a responsibility shared by both drivers and pedestrians. Read on to see if you have made these mistakes while walking:

  1. Walking while Distracted

In this age of multitasking, it has become easier to get distracted, both while driving and while walking. Use your eyes and ears to be aware and avoid cars. Staying alert is the best way to stay safe.

  1. Walking in Unsafe Places

Keep in mind that there are usually designated places for pedestrians to walk. Always use a crosswalk when one is available. If there is no crosswalk, find the most well-lit spot on the road (preferably a corner) and wait a good distance between cars to allow yourself enough time to cross safely. Stay on sidewalks where possible and if there is no sidewalk or other path, walk on the far side of the road facing traffic.

  1. Wearing Dark Clothes While Walking at Night

One of the most important safety tips for pedestrians is to stay visible. Especially at night, if you’re wearing dark clothes drivers may not see you. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, 32% of pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Wear reflective or light-colored clothing at night to ensure you are visible to drivers. If possible, stay in well-lighted areas.

  1. Not Watching for Cars that are Backing Up

Cars backing up is especially dangerous for pedestrians walking past driveways in a residential area or in a parking lot. Cars may back up quickly and you may be in the driver’s blind spot as a pedestrian. Be alert when passing behind cars. If the brake lights are on, the car is on and could back up. Also, if a driver is sitting in the driver’s seat, pause to make eye contact to make sure they see you before crossing behind the car or go around another way.

  1. Not Watching for Second Cars

When crossing the street, pause at each lane and make eye contact with the driver to make sure they see you before crossing in front of their car. Don’t assume that because the car in the first lane saw you and stopped the others will follow suit. They may not be paying attention.

  1. Drinking too Much Alcohol, Even as a Pedestrian

Nearly 34% of pedestrian fatalities involve excessive alcohol consumption by the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs physical reflexes and decision-making skills regardless of whether you are walking or behind the wheel. Don’t assume that it’s safe to drink in excess simply because you are not planning to drive. Being drunk can also affect your judgment while walking and put you in the path of danger.

Making sure you don’t commit these mistakes while walking can help avoid a tragedy. If you or a loved one is the victim of a pedestrian accident, you need aggressive, experienced lawyers on your side. Call the San Francisco attorneys at Alexander Law Group today at 888.777.1776 to learn more.

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