As a pedestrian, do you ever feel in danger when crossing the street or walking along a roadside? Unfortunately, distracted driving is becoming increasingly common – and it puts pedestrians at risk of being involved in serious road accidents.
Whether heading to school, work, or running errands, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe. Sure, stepping out onto the road can be intimidating – but there are things you can do to protect yourself from distracted drivers.
In this post, we’ll be sharing essential tips for pedestrians on how to stay safe from distracted drivers.
Different Types of Distractions When Driving
Did you know there are three main types of distractions when driving? Anything that takes your focus away from the road, including yourself, passengers, and anything outside the car, can lead to danger.
So, what three types of distracted driving do you need to be aware of?
Visual distractions take your eyes away from the road. This could be glancing at your phone or GPS, reading a map, reaching for something on the floor, or looking at billboards and other roadside attractions. Remember: Anything that keeps you from watching the road ahead is considered a visual distraction.
Cognitive distractions take your mind off what’s happening on the road when you’re not fully focused on driving safely. Activities like daydreaming, talking on the phone, music selection, or radio programming are all cognitive distractions. Any mental task can distract you and keep you from being in the moment while driving.
Manual distractions take your hands away from the wheel (and potentially both hands if it’s a particularly taxing task). Eating and drinking behind the wheel is considered a manual distraction, as texting, fiddling with vehicle controls (like switches for air conditioning and headlights), operating an infotainment system, or even putting on makeup while driving.
Distracted driving is no joke—protect yourself and other drivers by keeping your eyes on the road and focusing on safe driving practices!
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Now that you know what distracted driving is, it’s time to explore its associated dangers. Distracted driving can have serious consequences that include property damage, severe physical injuries, and, in some cases, death. Here are some of the main risks associated with distracted driving:
- Decrease in control over the vehicle: When you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off driving, it can affect your ability to control your vehicle. Driving at high speeds or in hazardous weather conditions can make it particularly dangerous.
- Slower reaction time: People who drive while distracted usually take longer to respond to potential hazards on the road, such as animals suddenly crossing or a pedestrian stepping onto the street. This can increase the chance of an accident occurring.
- Risk of collisions: One of the most significant dangers of distracted driving is an increased risk of collisions with other vehicles and objects on the road. This risk increases exponentially when you combine distraction with other dangerous behaviors like speeding, drinking, and driving.
By familiarizing yourself with these risks, you’ll better understand why it’s so important to keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind focused while driving to help ensure everyone’s safety on our roads!
Can Pedestrians Protect Themselves From Distracted Driving?
Yes, pedestrians can protect themselves from distracted drivers. First and foremost, you should always stay alert and aware of your surroundings when walking near traffic. Here are a few other steps you can take to ensure your safety:
Wear Reflective Clothing and Accessories
Pedestrians need to be seen by drivers — and the best way to do this is with brightly colored and reflective clothing. Wearing a reflective vest is the best way to ensure you are visible in nighttime and low-light conditions. You can find a great selection of cheap, lightweight safety vests at your local outdoor outfitter or online.
If a vest isn’t your style, you can opt for bright-colored clothing, light-up shoelaces, or even light-up hats and backpacks. The aim is to make yourself as visible as possible so you don’t get caught in a driver’s blind spot.
Use Crosswalks Whenever Possible
No matter how wary of distracted drivers you may be, it’s important that you use crosswalks whenever possible when crossing the road. Using them makes it much easier for drivers to notice and predict your movements.
Using crosswalks also gives you a legal right-of-way as a pedestrian. That means that even if a driver is not paying attention, they are still responsible for ensuring they don’t hit you while crossing the street.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using crosswalks:
- Wait until all cars have come to a complete stop before crossing the street. Even if all the cars seem to have stopped, still make sure to double-check for any potential danger.
- Avoid distractions such as loud music or conversations with other people while crossing the street – this will help ensure your full attention is on safety and alertness at all times.
- Watch out for multiple lanes of traffic – look both ways before crossing, then stay in one lane as you move across the street so an unsuspecting driver doesn’t take a wrong turn and crash into you from behind or beside you.
- Make eye contact with the driver before proceeding across the street, so they know where you’re going, just in case they weren’t paying attention.
- Choose brightly lit crosswalks at night so drivers can more easily spot your presence on the roadway and give you space as necessary when passing by.
Follow All Traffic Lights and Signs
You should always obey all traffic lights, signs, and signals. It’s never a good idea to cross a street while the light is red, even if no vehicles are nearby. Always look both ways before crossing the street, and make sure it’s safe to do so before you step off the sidewalk.
You can also check both ways around parked cars and trees blocking your view of oncoming traffic. Watch for hidden driveways or parking lots that a driver might use to enter the roadway.
When crossing a street, be sure to:
- Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Avoid wearing headphones while walking.
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths when available, but don’t forget that cars can still use these paths too.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing so drivers can see you at night.
- Know that cars parked along the side of the road may quickly pull out into traffic.
- Don’t rely on pedestrian signals when crossing streets; watch for cars instead.
Contact a Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving Pembroke Pines
If you were in a pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer serving Pembroke Pines immediately. Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers is a top-notch law firm with years of experience handling pedestrian accident cases in Pembroke Pines and surrounding areas. We have proven our proficiency and dedication to our clients, making them the best choice to handle your case.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand that pedestrian accidents can result in severe physical, financial, and emotional damages. That’s why we are committed to helping you recover your losses and protect your rights as a pedestrian injured by a distracted driver.
Moreover, our investigative team will work diligently to collect evidence from police reports, eyewitness testimony, photographs from the accident scene, medical records, and other sources. Our attorneys will also negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for your case. Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 and get the help you deserve!