Pedestrian safety is just as much a responsibility as driving a car is. Pedestrians need to make sure that they are constantly aware of their surroundings.
When engaging with cars and other vehicles on the roads, you can put yourself at huge risks if you don’t obey the rules of the road and practice pedestrian safety measures.
Pedestrian Safety Includes the Following:
ALWAYS obey road traffic signs. When crossing the road or pretty much any time you’re on the road, you need to know that you’re in a dangerous environment. Cars and drivers will be (theoretically anyway) obeying the road traffic signs and can’t be blamed for hitting you if you’ve crossed the road when it was their right of way. Just like cars aren’t allowed to go through a red traffic light, you should have the same mentality as a pedestrian.
Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing. While it may not be convenient to always wear this type of clothing – if you know that you’re going to be on the road, then bring a brightly coloured jersey with you. While you’re on the road you can put it on so that drivers are fully aware of your presence as a pedestrian.
DO NOT engage road traffic while distracted! When it comes to crossing the road, or any scenario whereby you’re engaging with vehicles on the road – make sure you give it your full attention. Do not text while you cross the road, or look at any of your mobile devices. Put them away and focus on the road and the vehicles. If you’re listening to music, pause it before you cross. Make sure all your senses are available to you when engaging road traffic as a pedestrian.
Don’t walk in the road! Always walk on the pavement whenever possible. If there isn’t a pavement, then walk as close to the edge of the road as possible. Face towards the oncoming traffic – giving yourself plenty of time to react to oncoming vehicles. So in South Africa – this means you would walk on the right hand side of the road. Pedestrians aren’t meant to be on the road, so only walk on the road if you have to!
If you’re intoxicated, AVOID road traffic! When under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering drugs, be aware that your judgement is impaired. Stay away from road traffic, as you will probably take risks that you normally wouldn’t. If you have to, then make sure you strictly follow the road traffic signs.
Always look both ways! Every time, before you cross the road – make sure you’ve looked in both directions – making sure you’re aware of all the oncoming traffic. Don’t assume that the vehicle has seen you just because you’ve seen them. The driver may be distracted by the low sun or a mobile device and might not be aware of any pedestrians around them.
Don’t stop in the middle of the road! When crossing the road, wait until both lanes are clear and you can cross to the other side. Don’t walk into the road and wait in the middle, this is incredibly dangerous! Remember as a pedestrian, the road isn’t made for you – it’s made for cars. So minimize your time on the road, cross in a straight line and make sure you can get across before stepping foot onto the road!
Source: Arrive Alive