Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Take steps to be safe when walking on roadways. This includes exercising caution at intersections and crosswalks and increasing your visibility at night by wearing retro-reflective clothing and carrying flashlights.
It’s especially important to watch out for children’s safety when they’re walking near traffic. As pedestrians, children are at even greater risk of injury or death from traffic crashes due to their small size, inability to judge distances and speeds, and lack of experience with traffic rules. One in five traffic deaths among children ages 14 and under are pedestrian deaths.
Whenever you’re walking, keep these tips in mind from the NHTSA’s Safety Countermeasures Division:
- Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever one is available.
- If there is no sidewalk or path available, walk facing traffic (on the left side of the road) on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible. Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including radios, smart phones and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road environment.
- Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not seeing you). Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
- Be predictable as a pedestrian. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever
- possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Stay off of freeways, restricted-access highways and other pedestrian-prohibited roadways.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flash light at night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Very often pedestrians are not walking where they should be.
- Be especially vigilant for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
- Slowdown and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around pedestrians.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.