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How to Avoid a Pedestrian Accident

Now that we are fully engulfed in the fall months, the daylight hours will begin to decrease more and more.  Before you know it, it will be completely dark during your drive home from work.  If you find yourself out for a walk during the evening hours, or even the dark morning hours, there are a few things that you can do to decrease your chances of being in a pedestrian accident.  By improving your visibility to drivers, you can drastically improve your safety.

If there is a sidewalk available for you to use, stay on it.  Avoid walking in the road at all costs.  If you are on a more rural road without an established sidewalk, you’ll want to walk as far to the side of the road as possible.  In addition, you’ll want to walk against traffic, so that you are facing the cars.  While it won’t make you more visible to drivers, it will help you protect yourself from an oncoming driver that may be swerving erratically.

Just as drivers have to follow the legal rules of the road, you have to do the same as a pedestrian.  A driver won’t expect you to cross the street in the middle of the road so be sure to always use a crosswalk.  If a marked crosswalk isn’t available, at least make sure that you are crossing at an intersection.

When possible, try to make eye contact with drivers so that you know they see you before you step out into the road.  Even though a driver may be stopped at the intersection, they could be distracted by fiddling with their phone or radio and not actually see you.

If if it’s not nighttime, it can still be difficult to see someone wearing dark colors in low-light or foggy conditions.  That being said, try to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.  A flashlight will also help you see cars and help them see you.  As a personal injury lawyer in Seattle, I recommend keeping a flashlight on your keychain so that you never forget it.

As a personal injury lawyer, I’ve handled many cases in which a pedestrian was made less visible to drivers because they had a dark raincoat or umbrella in rainy conditions.  Never assume that a driver can so you and always be on the defensive.