When you get behind the wheel of your car, you never anticipate that you will be involved in an accident. You know when traffic is likely to be heaviest, and you know that you need to drive a little more slowly when it is raining. There may be certain days or times that you do not feel as comfortable driving, like after midnight on New Year’s Eve, or you might avoid roads that are under construction.
Being a safe pedestrian is very similar to being a safe driver. While you never know when you may run into trouble, you can use the information at hand to make a safe decision about walking. Weather, traffic volume, and visibility all play a role in determining how safe your walk may be.
Be Especially Careful at These Times
Generally speaking, there are a few times throughout the day that you should exercise some extra caution while you are out getting some exercise. One of the most dangerous times to go for a walk—and coincidentally one of the most popular—is during the early twilight hours. With high traffic volume and poor visibility, pedestrians are very difficult for motorists to see, and nearly one third of all pedestrian accidents happen during these hours.
As the night wears on and bars start closing, the streets get risky again. Drivers may be intoxicated or simply tired as they cruise the streets late at night, so people who are out walking are at risk of not being seen. Also, keep in mind that if you have been drinking, you may not be the safest pedestrian—a large percentage of pedestrians who are involved in accidents have alcohol in their systems.
Another time that can get dangerous for pedestrians is the early morning hours. People are rushing to get to work or school, and the roads and sidewalks are congested. Throw in all of the distractions that come with starting the day, and it is no wonder that pedestrian-accident frequency rises between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
While these times are the typical “hotspots” for pedestrian accidents, accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. By taking special precautions and being proactive with your own safety, you can enjoy your daily walk whenever it suits you.
Help your friends stay safe on their walks, too! Share this article with them on social media and help spread the word about when to walk safely.