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6 ways to protect yourself as a pedestrian on a road

walk to school
(© Konstantin Yuganov –

Did you know that every year, nearly 6,000 people lose their lives to car accidents?

Those are not my words but the words of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

With facts like these, it’s clearly evident that we’re not as safe on our roads as we all love to think.

Every time you use the road as a pedestrian, just know that you’re at risk of getting bumped by a drunken/distracted/inexperienced driver.

Unless, of course, if you protect yourself with the following tips.

Make sure you read this: While the tips in this article are meant to protect you from ever becoming a victim of car accidents, they can also help you improve your chances of getting a personal injury compensation in case a driver decides to go nut someday and injure you.

Eyes on the road, not on the device

When I was younger, I did this a lot. But now, I guess I’ve grown to know better.

Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving. If we’re going to ask drivers to maintain focus and refrain from anything that would distract them while at the wheel, then I guess you don’t need to be told to do likewise while commuting by foot.

You’ve got to stop the habit of calling on the phone, chatting, texting, or gisting while walking by the roadside.

For the few minutes you’ll be on the road, ensure your focus is totally on the road.

Help the driver notice you

No driver wishes to kill a human being in a car accident. But sometimes, circumstances are just beyond their control.

But you can help them make better driving decisions by making eye contact with them when they’re trying to turn or backing out of a driveway.

If you’re commuting at night, you should wear reflective clothing and if you’re commuting during the day, ensure you wear bright-colored clothing.

This will help oncoming driver notice you quickly

Avoid the use of headphones/hands free

I’m not trying to witch-hunt anyone, but the habit of using a headphone, earphone, or AirPods sounds more like a millennial/tween/teen thing.

Once upon a time, I did, too.

And trust me, I only have a fellow pedestrian to thank for being here today.

Ask yourself, would you ever walk by a roadside with a face-covering mask?

Of course, not.

If so, then why would you block your eyes with handsfree/headphones while on the road?

Keeping your ears active while on the road is just as important as keeping your eyes open. You need both organs to stay safe, so don’t shut one out.

Avoid erratic movements

People of all ages are guilty of this.

And we all need to remember that roads aren’t our room.

Sometimes, because we’ve spent many years commuting a road, we tend to forget ourselves and assume we can behave anyhow while on it.

This has to stop.

Whether you are having an animated discussion with a friend as you are walking or you want to dart off the sidewalk to make room for another pedestrian, always ensure you’re not moving erratically, as this could put your life in danger.

Get accustomed to all roadside safety signs

There is a reason why “safety signs” are called that.

They’re there to keep all road users safe. And that includes pedestrians.

Unfortunately, not many pedestrians understand what these signs are.

Let me ask you, “if you see a zebra crossing sign on the road,” what does it tell you?

Honestly, understanding and applying every single safety sign on the road is just as important as every other tip in this post.

From traffic signs to sidewalks, zebra/pedestrian crossing signs to path closure, and every little sign in between, ensure you equip yourself with all the right knowledge concerning road usage.

It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to do that. You can even click this link here to learn a few Pedestrian Signs and Signals.

Never ignore or disobey safety rules

For those that already know what the various roadside safety rules are, please do not disobey these rules.

They’re there for your own good. So, you should do well to adhere to them.

If a sign says, do not cross, please don’t cross. If you cannot find a sidewalk on the road, find a safe space to follow, and be sure you’re well distanced from oncoming cars. Also, ensure you’re moving in a direction opposite the direction of traffic.

Story by Uday Tank

augusta free press
augusta free press