When you take to the streets of Killeen on foot, it is a great way to get around, but it also poses significant risks. When you are walking, absolutely nothing comes between you and the impact of a traffic accident. Further, pedestrian accidents are not only exceedingly dangerous but are also on the rise. While motorists generally owe you the right-of-way, this in no way guarantees your safety. When you are in pedestrian mode, make arriving safely your primary goal and do not allow distractions to get in your way.
Walking while Distracted
When you are on foot, whether for exercise, a pleasant stroll, or as a means of getting from point A to point B, there is plenty to distract you along the way. The fact is, however, that you are extremely vulnerable to the traffic all around you, and the immense size and weight differential between you and those vehicles mean that you are almost certain to suffer serious injuries in any accident that ensues. Distracted drivers are out there, and the problem of driving while distracted is mounting. Distracted drivers put you, as a pedestrian, at risk, and your best line of defense is to walk with purpose – distraction-free.
The Dangers Associated with Distracted Walking
When you are on foot and are focused on anything other than walking safely, you face considerable dangers. In addition to putting yourself at greater risk of being injured in a traffic accident, you are more likely to trip and injure yourself or to wander into an area made unsafe by construction, illegal activity, and/or congested traffic. When you head out on foot, having a plan and sticking to it with purpose (free of distraction) is the best and safest path forward.
Avoiding Distractions as a Pedestrian
Pedestrians face many of the same distractions that motorists do, including the great and powerful smartphone. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you focus on walking safely and distraction-free. These steps include:
- Plan a safe route with as few intersections as possible (pedestrians are naturally at their most vulnerable in intersections)
- Focus on the walk ahead – be on the lookout for tripping hazards, dangerous traffic situations, and more
- Put away your phone – anything you need to take care of with your phone you can do once you arrive safely at your destination
- Always cross at clearly identified crosswalks with pedestrian signals whenever possible
- Look both ways before stepping into the crosswalk (even if the light is on your side)
- Before you cross, make eye contact with those drivers in your midst
Remember, distracted walking does not give motorists a free pass to violate traffic laws and injure pedestrians. As such, you still may be able to recover compensation after a pedestrian accident – even if you were distracted. Call a lawyer to find out more.