As a pedestrian, you should know the traffic rules that apply to you and take care always to follow them. While a driver usually bears the most responsibility for a collision between an automobile and a pedestrian, if the court determines that you were partially responsible for the accident, it could reduce the amount you can collect in damages. Furthermore, obeying traffic rules at all times can help you to avoid an accident in the first place. You may already know pedestrian traffic rules, but here is a brief refresher.
- Don’t Jaywalk
In other words, only cross the street at the crosswalk, or at a corner or intersection if there is no crosswalk available. Don’t ever cross an intersection diagonally, even if you need to get to the opposite corner. Instead, take the long way by crossing one street and then making a 90-degree turn to cross the other.
- Make Eye Contact
If you need to cross the street and there is a car approaching, make sure the driver sees you by making eye contact with him or her. Don’t just look at the car because then you do not know what the driver is doing and whether he or she is paying attention.
- Avoid Distractions
Distracted walking can result in accidents just as distracted driving can. The resulting collisions may or may not involve a motor vehicle. Avoid distractions as much as possible. For example, listening to music may seem harmless, but it can prevent you from hearing sirens and other audio clues that can alert you to possible danger.
- Be Visible
Try to help drivers to see you by wearing bright colors during the day and fluorescent clothing at night. Carrying a flashlight while walking at night not only helps drivers to see you but also allows you to see where you are going.
- Obey Traffic Signals
“Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs apply to pedestrians. Speed limits signs only apply to motor vehicles. However, most other traffic signs and signals apply equally to everyone. Be sure you pay attention to them and obey them.
- Use the Sidewalks
The sidewalks are there to provide a safe place for pedestrians away from motor traffic. Stay on them as much as possible. If there are no sidewalks available, walk on the side of the road that has you facing approaching traffic. Note that this is the opposite of the rule for bicyclists, who should travel the same direction as traffic.