New Safety Tips for Pedestrian Safety Month

Pedestrian safety month is a time to emphasize awareness and education on how to keep the nation’s most vulnerable road users safe from harm. Vehicle-pedestrian collisions take hundreds of lives and send thousands of victims to hospitals with severe injuries each year. Learning the latest in pedestrian safety can help you avoid getting hit by a car or striking a pedestrian as a motor vehicle driver in Kansas City.

New Safety Tips for Pedestrian Safety Month

Tips for Pedestrians 

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there was a 13 percent increase in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents from 2020 to 2021. In 2021, 7,388 pedestrians lost their lives and more than 60,000 were injured nationwide. If you plan to walk or jog around Kansas City, protect yourself as much as possible with these tips:

  • Use sidewalks. Do not walk in the road whenever you can avoid it. Choose to use sidewalks and pedestrian paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side facing traffic as far to the right as possible. Avoid crossing the road anywhere other than intersections and crosswalks.
  • Follow the rules. Obey all traffic signs and roadway rules that apply to you while walking in Kansas City. Make sure you have the right to cross the road before entering a roadway or crosswalk. If a traffic control signal is in place, you must wait for the Walk sign to proceed. 
  • Wait to cross safely. Even if you have the right-of-way, stop and look both ways to make sure drivers are yielding. Make eye contact with a driver to ensure he or she sees you. Never leave a curb or place of safety if a vehicle is approaching too quickly for the driver to reasonably stop.
  • Boost your visibility. Make yourself as visible to drivers as possible by wearing bright colors or reflective material. Avoid walking at night. If you must walk at night, carry a flashlight and try to stay on well-lit sidewalks.
  • Watch for drivers backing up. A driver that is reversing out of a parking spot or driveway may not check for pedestrian traffic before backing up. Be extra cautious if you see a vehicle’s reverse lights. If you can, pass in front of vehicles instead of behind them.

Unfortunately, you cannot trust drivers around you to pay attention, obey traffic laws or notice you as a pedestrian. Take your safety into your own hands by following these tips.

Tips for Drivers

When you drive a motor vehicle, you are in control of a dangerous weapon that has the power to kill or severely injure a pedestrian. Take this responsibility seriously. Use these tips to improve pedestrian safety when you drive:

  • Maintain a safe speed. Speeding increases the risk of pedestrian collisions, as you may not be able to hit the brakes in time to avoid striking a pedestrian that suddenly enters the road. Speeding is particularly dangerous in school zones and residential areas.
  • Do not drive distracted. Never look at your phone or send a text message while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Stay alert for pedestrians, especially small children who may jump out from between parked cars without warning.
  • Yield the right-of-way. You are legally required to slow down or stop for pedestrians who are crossing the road at intersections and crosswalks. Even if a pedestrian illegally crosses without the right-of-way, you are responsible for doing your best to avoid a collision.

Be especially careful when driving in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, such as downtown districts, residential neighborhoods and school zones. Remain vigilant and constantly aware of your surroundings. You have the power to protect pedestrians in your community – and possibly save lives. A Dickerson Oxton personal injury attorney in Kansas City can help navigate your pedestrian accident claim.