Pedestrian Safety Tips For Washington DC

Washington DC has some of the worst drivers in the country - and you can never assume that an oncoming car see you or has your best interests at heart. But although you can never altogether protect against a pedestrian accident or pedestrian injury, you can protect yourself by knowing a few pedestrian safety tips when you hit the streets on foot:

  • Stay in predictable places. Drivers will be less likely to hit you if they are prepared to look for pedestrians. Use crosswalks. Don't dart into the road quickly or from behind parked cars. Don't jay walk. Don't walk on highways or interstates where walking on the shoulder is illegal.
  • Make sure you can be seen at night. Most pedestrian accidents occur at night. Make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing. Make sure to carry a flash light or reflectors. When possible, do not walk on the side of the road at night when there is not a wide shoulder or sidewalk.
  • Walking under the influence is dangerous, too. When driving under the influence, we can injure others - when walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we can be a danger to ourselves. Swerving or stumbling pedestrians - or pedestrians who are not aware when they are in the roadway - are prone to pedestrian accidents.
  • Keep your eyes open. Be aware of when cars are approaching you, or if a car is acting erratically. As always, look both ways when crossing a street and predict places where cars may not be able to see you. When about to cross in front of a car, make eye contact with the driver to ensure that he or she sees you and is stopping.
  • When sidewalks are not available, be sure to walk facing traffic. Since pedestrian accident injuries are equally serious whether you are hit from the back or the front, it is safer to walk facing oncoming traffic so that you can better see approaching vehicles.
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