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Pedestrian Safety Tips

woman pressing button for crosswalk signalWalk Safely

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Be aware of your surroundings and continue looking until safely across.
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Be especially alert for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Do not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • If you are walking when it’s dark out, make sure you are visible to drivers. Wear light-colored or brightly-colored clothing and reflective gear. 
  • Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.

why speed matters infographicLook Out For Pedestrians When You're Driving

  • When driving, put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until your final destination.
  • Be especially alert and slow down when driving in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly. A driver's field of vision decreases as speed increases. At lower speeds drivers can see more of their surroundings and have more time to recognize and react to potential hazards,
  • Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

Take Action Against Distraction

  • Keep your head up and devices down when crossing the street or walking around cars in a parking lot or garage. If you need to use your cell phone, stop walking and find a safe area to talk.
  • Remove headphones or turn off the volume before crossing the street. A study published by Injury Prevention has shown that people wearing headphones can be affected by "inattentional blindness." Their brains are too busy operating or listening to their device to pay attention to the potential danger caused by oncoming traffic. Headphones can also cause "environmental isolation" by overpowering ambient noises and sounds coming from the street that might alert the wearer to a safety hazard.
  • Be aware of others who may be distracted and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
For additional tips and resources visit Safe Kids Worldwide (https://www.safekids.org/walkingsafelytips).

car bike pedestrian motorcycle icons