Anyone on or near a roadway has to be alert and aware to avoid accidents. The California Office of Traffic Safety explains both drivers and pedestrians have to work together to ensure safety.
Pedestrians are at the most risk in a crash of serious injury or death. But drivers are also at risk of severe criminal charges if they do not pay attention. Working together can help save lives and makes for a more secure environment for those who wish to travel by foot. With that in mind, it is essential that neither party push responsibility for safety onto the other. Everyone must do their part.
As a pedestrian, you should make yourself as visible as possible. If it is dark or there is adverse weather, you need to especially concern yourself with being visible. If someone in a car cannot see you, it highly increases the chances of an accident. This is an easy way to protect yourself.
You also need to know the laws and follow them. Do not assume that because you are walking that you can ignore the rules of the road. Make sure to walk on the right side and yield to traffic when required. But also do not assume drivers will follow or know the law. Pay attention and always assume drivers do not see you or will not stop for you. Being proactive can reduce accidents.
As a driver, you have a lot of responsibility. You are behind the wheel of a fast-moving and heavy vessel that can easily kill a person if you hit them. For this reason, you must always be watching for pedestrians on the road. Do not assume they are paying attention or will adhere to road rules. Anticipate that they may not know you are there and react accordingly.
When pedestrians and drivers both are on alert, it can save lives. It can make the roads safer and help ensure everyone gets where they are going safely.