The pedestrian is always at risk of being hit by a car when crossing or walking along a road. However, this risk dramatically increases after the sun sets. The night pedestrian’s low visibility on the road often takes the motorist by surprise. Sometimes it is only a matter of chance that the pedestrian is not hit because the motorist was not driving close to the side of the road. This is why motorist/pedestrian accidents often occur at night and why you should take every precaution when walking during this time. Here are seven safety precautions:
- Walk in areas with good lighting. Avoid walking on unlit sections of roads and streets. If you have a choice of routes, pick those with the best lighting even if that means walking a bit farther.
- Assume motorists cannot see you. Your poor visibility and small size means this is often the case. Do not use a cross walk without first checking that motor vehicles have stopped to let you cross.
- Make yourself visible. Wear reflective gear that is visible from both the front and back. Use a flashlight. It will both increase your visibility and help you find your way. This is especially important in suburban and rural locations where there is less lighting on the roads.
- Walk where pedestrians are expected. Stay on sidewalks where available and avoid jaywalking by using designated cross walks. Cross walks with lights that stop the traffic are safest.
- Walk on the left side of the road on the shoulder. When sidewalks are not available, always walk facing the traffic on the left shoulder. Avoid walking on roads with no shoulders. Be prepared to move off the road when a vehicle approaches too closely.
- Stay alert. Never walk under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications that affect your alertness. Avoid distractions such as texting or cell phone use. If you must use your phone, move to a location out of reach of traffic and stop walking. Avoid earphone use.
- Obey pedestrian and traffic signals. Crossing against signal lights is dangerous even during the day. However, at night you are little more than a passing shadow to motorists. Don’t count on them to see and react to your presence.
Remember that night walking is even more dangerous on weekend nights and “drinking holiday” nights such as New Year’s Eve when people are at bars or partying. Don’t hesitate to get the assistance of a Odessa injury lawyer if a motorist injured you while walking. Contact us at the CHILDS BISHOP & WHITE P.C. for more information and a free consultation.