New York is an active state, and you're used to walking from place to place. Despite the fact that more pedestrians are on the roads, you still worry that you could be involved in an accident. As a parent with children, knowing that you could leave your kids behind if you're hit and killed is a horrible thought. How can you stay safer? Here are five tips to staying safe when you're a pedestrian.
Increase your visibility
A good way to stand out is to wear bright colors, reflective clothing or to carry a flashlight. The more visible you make yourself, the less likely it is that a driver will fail to see you when you cross the road, especially at night or in the early morning.
Be cautious, and look both ways
Just because the crosswalk signal says you can go doesn't mean it's safe. Take the time to look both ways and to listen for oncoming traffic.
Only cross at crosswalks
Only cross at crosswalks on your way to work, or choose to cross at intersections if no crosswalks exist in the area. If neither crosswalks nor intersections are nearby, make sure you are extra cautious and see that no vehicles are approaching before you enter the roadway.
Use sidewalks, bridges and shoulders
There is a reason that sidewalks were invented, and it's to keep people like yourself off the roads and separated from traffic. Use sidewalks whenever they're available. If no sidewalk is present, stay as close to the edge of the shoulder as possible while on the road. You should aim to put at least a few feet of distance between yourself and oncoming vehicles. Always walk toward traffic to make sure drivers see you approaching and that you see them approaching.
Another thing to look for is a highway bridge. Sometimes these arch across busy interstates and make it safe for you to cross without ever having to touch the road. Don't skip the bridge in lieu of a faster crossing time. Vehicles on highways approach much faster than they appear.
Stay off your phone
Distractions can lead to accidents, and that phone call to the office can wait. Imagine looking down at your phone while you cross the street, being unaware of a dangerous driver who won't stop even though he has a red light. That driver will hit you, but you may have had time to get out of the way if you paid attention. While it's not your fault that the driver was distracted, being distracted yourself puts you at risk.
These steps can help you stay safe on your way to work. If you are struck, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries.