Some of the most catastrophic injuries that we see come from pedestrian vs. car accidents. These types of accidents are far too common and can often be avoided by putting some of these basic safety tips into practice.
- Stay on the Sidewalk – It goes without saying that you ought to be using the sidewalk if it’s there. Avoid walking in the road at all costs. However, not all roads in Fairfax and northern Virginia have sidewalks. If you have to use a road that does not have a sidewalk, you should walk facing traffic. That way, not only will the car see you coming, but you’ll see them.
- Cross Only at Intersections – Drivers expect to see things crossing the road at intersections, be it cars, bikes or pedestrians. When you cross at an intersection you are less likely to be hit by a car. It’s when you show up in unexpected places that accidents happen. If you can get to an intersection with a crosswalk, you should.
- Look left, right and then left again – This is one of those basic rules that we teach our children and then tend to forget as we get older. Looking both ways in traffic before you cross will keep you safe.
- Be seen – Drivers can’t avoid you if they can’t see you. This means that you should wear bright-colored, reflective clothing if you’re going out walking or running at night. If at all possible, you should attempt to make eye contact with the driver before you cross. You might think the car is slowing down to let you go, but you can’t be sure. By making eye contact, you ensure that the driver sees you also.
- Watch your children – Children are small and unpredictable. This makes them less likely to be seen by drivers and more likely to dart out into traffic – a deadly combination. Teach your kids from an early age that they should not go near a street without an adult. As they get older, remember to teach them to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
By using these simply rules, you can reduce your risk of being struck by a car as a pedestrian.