Many cities across Illinois, including Champaign-Urbana, are taking measures to increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Most pedestrian traffic is centralized in a downtown area, however motorists are well-served to keep a lookout for pedestrians on all roadways.
If you are someone who often walks places, you have likely seen that some drivers simply do not pay proper attention to pedestrians. This problems presents itself in almost every city in Illinois. While drivers should share in the responsibility of ensuring that pedestrians get to their destinations safely, there are several things that you can do as a pedestrian to decrease your chances of getting hurt.
- Use sidewalks when they are available. When there are no sidewalks available, walk on the far left side of the road. You will be out of the way of traffic, and you will be able to see oncoming traffic better.
- Always cross at crosswalks when they are available. When possible, you may even want to cross at a stop light that has pedestrian lights. Do not cross the street until it is safe to do so even if you should have the right-of-way.
- Make yourself visible to drivers. One of the big keys is that you should never suddenly come out from behind something, such as a parked vehicle or even some bushes by the side of the road. If drivers can't see that you plan to cross the street, they will not know to stop for you. Being visible to drivers also includes wearing bright clothing during the day. At night or during bad weather, you should wear reflective clothing. For extra safety, especially if you are walking in a poorly-lit area, you may want to also use a flashlight.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street, and teach your children to do so as well.
- Never assume that a driver has seen you. Even if you have the right-of-way, make sure all drivers have stopped before you attempt to cross the street. You may even want to make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they have seen you and that they know that you plan to cross the street.
- Consider the weather and adapt accordingly. If visibility is reduced because of rain, snow, fog, or other weather conditions, you will want to be extra careful when crossing the street. Wet or icy roads may also make it harder to safely cross the street.
- Get rid of distractions. Yes, that means you should put your cell phone down. You should also avoid walking with headphones on or while reading a book. When walking, you should always be a fully alert pedestrian.
Unfortunately, some drivers do not always pay attention to pedestrians. Automobile on pedestrian accidents keep hospital emergency rooms crowded in Illinois. If you are a pedestrian who was injured in an automobile accident caused by an inattentive driver, contact us.