There goes another person talking or looking at their phone while walking or crossing the street…They’re everywhere. Perhaps you occasionally, absent-mindedly, step into the road while distracted on the cell. Preoccupation with our smartphones has become a way of life. However, this behaviour can lead to serious injury or death if you are not careful. Here are five easy tips for walking safely:
1. Obey Traffic Laws
Make certain that you cross the street only at pedestrian crosswalks. You may think it’s fine to walk in between parked cars when crossing the street. However, your presence will be a surprise to the motorist or cyclist coming towards you. They are not expecting you there; it’s an easy way to become a cautionary tale.
2. Put down the Phone
Pedestrians who are distracted by phones are putting themselves at risk. The vehicle always wins. Stop looking at your phone and turn down the volume on headsets. Look out for cars, motorcycles, and bikes: Do not assume they are going to stop, even if you have the right of way. Always err on the side of caution.
When you are at a traffic light, do not start walking when the “Don’t Walk” light begins flashing or the countdown begins. Wait for a green light. There is always a rushed motorist who’s not watching for you. That one extra second could make all the difference. (And in Toronto, Ontario it’s actually illegal for a pedestrian to enter the crosswalk once the countdown begins, to allow for turning cars.)
4. Walk against Traffic
If you are walking on a rural road where there are no sidewalks, walk toward the traffic. This will help you see vehicles head on rather than behind you and increase your ability to get out of the way, if necessary.
5. Wear Bright Clothing
Bright or reflective clothing is a must when walking at dusk, dark, or early morning. Drivers are tired or not fully attentive. Make sure all motorists can see you.
We want to help you get home safely every day. Follow these simple safety tips and you can better protect yourself. Should you have the need for a personal injury or car accident attorney, please call Michelle Linka Law at (416) 477-7288.