According to numbers from the World Health Organization, vehicle accidents have become the eighth leading reason for fatalities to occur to individuals worldwide. This is because an approximate 4,300 people die from such crashes, totalling into an estimate of 1.25 million people dying all over the world for the same reason every year. Of this data, half of the people involved are actually from the WHO demographic known as “vulnerable road users,” and these are often individuals that use motorcycles, bicycles, or are just pedestrians. Aside from casualties, 20 to 50 million more people that are involved in such accidents are expected to survive but gain disabilities or even suffer various injuries as a result.
While these numbers indicate quite an alarming frequency of these accidents, it’s not impossible to try to stay safe against such occurrences. Below are some tips on how to keep yourself safe on the roads as a pedestrian:
Understand the Rules, Risks of Traffic
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of keeping yourself safe on the roads is to understand the risks of traffic in the first place, especially within your area. From the above statistics, it can be a bit hard to imagine how such a massive number would apply on a local level. As such, perhaps a wise move is to also learn more about traffic in your area in the first place.
- When you have a set list of tasks to do everyday, such as going to work or to school or even jogging, chances are you’re familiar with the different routes to and from your home. You may also be aware of what routes you prefer to take whenever you have to make a commute. Try to go beyond this and assess traffic news reports about your area and just how often accidents occur.
- Having a basic idea of these circumstances can help you identify what times and what areas aren’t exactly the safest whenever you go out of the house.
- Try your best to understand local traffic regulations in your region as well. Different states have different versions of traffic rules, so if you need someone to give you assistance, say a traffic officer or a lawyer, then do ask them things about regulations that aren’t clear.
Practice Safety Measures, Techniques
The other half of keeping yourself safe on the roads as a pedestrian is to practice what you’ve studied. Now that you have a basic idea on how rules and regulations work on the roads and traffic regulations in your area, now’s the time to apply safety practices.
- Make sure you understand what road signs and signals are for, and make sure you follow them. Make eye contact with drivers as you traverse pedestrian lanes, and make sure you don’t violate jaywalking rules even if you’re the only one on the road.
- Don’t be distracted by anything. Keep your phone in your pocket or bag, and don’t listen to music. Your eyes and your ears are your best tools for safety, so make sure they are well aware of your surroundings. If you need to view the map or text family and friends about your whereabouts, proceed to a safe place first.
- Try to make sure drivers see you very well so they can avoid you. Try to stay in view of bright light, and wear neon, bright, and/or reflective clothing when you go out for good measure.
When it comes to pedestrian safety, it’s important to understand that accidents can happen to anyone, so as pedestrians it’s up to us to make sure not only our movements are traffic friendly, but to do them with an understanding of how they’re supposed to help to keep us and others safe. If you’re looking into the legalities of the matter, do click here.