Millions of people have injuries that arise from accidents at intersections. Changes in cities and states tend to confuse many pedestrians, especially at intersections. It is essential to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge as a pedestrian. Here are some tips for walking at intersections:
1) Look before you cross
At all times, please keep your eyes peeled for other motorists who may not see you crossing the street or turning without giving you enough time to make it across safely. Be aware of any approaching turns that haven’t been made yet – drivers sometimes fail to yield when turning left or right onto another thoroughfare. Ensure you look in both directions before you cross an intersection, no matter how safe it seems to be.
2) Avoid distractions
While this point should probably apply at all times when you’re about to walk across a street, it especially applies while you’re crossing at intersections. Don’t use your cell phone or other electronic devices while crossing the road – it’s unsafe for several reasons. Firstly, if you get hit by another car while distracted by your device, the driver will likely assume that you didn’t see them coming because of your distraction, not because they failed to yield. Secondly, if you get hit by a driver who wasn’t looking where they were going, they may assume that YOU saw them failing to yield and still decided to cross in front of them anyway. Not only is this unsafe, but it’s illegal in some states. Finally, the third reason not to use your device while crossing an intersection is that it distracts you from focusing on the task at hand: getting across the street safely. So, stop looking at that text message or social media update so you can get to the other side of the road safe and sound.
3) Pay attention to car signals
Most intersections have lights that indicate when cars can go and when they must stop. These signals are called traffic lights, and they will either have a green light or a red light. A green light means that cars going straight through the intersection are allowed to drive, while cars turning right or left must stop. A red light means that no car is permitted to go through the intersection at all until the green light comes back on – even if it’s currently safe for you to cross. So please pay attention to these lights at intersections, so you know when it’s safe to cross.
4) Pay attention when other pedestrians are around
The streets aren’t always full of other cars – there may be isolated incidents where there are no other vehicles but yours. This doesn’t mean that it’s okay for you to walk wherever you want, whenever you want. Follow any traffic signs and signals just like drivers do, and take extra precautions, especially in isolated areas where the chances of getting hit by a motor vehicle are much higher.
5) Be especially careful at night
Most drivers have had plenty of practice driving around during the day and will be used to looking for pedestrians and cyclists when they’re crossing intersections. However, it’s much harder for them (and almost impossible for them) to spot cyclists or pedestrians who are out at night. If you plan on going out after dark, then make sure that you keep extra cautious and alert if a car doesn’t see you in time to stop.
Walking is a relatively safe activity but still has some risks attached to it. Some of these risks come from the natural dangers associated with walking, such as flying debris or uneven surfaces. However, most of the hazards that make walking unsafe are artificial and can be controlled by knowing what precautions to take when in an urban environment, like at intersections.