On any given night you may find numerous individuals walking the streets of Dallas. Unfortunately, nighttime is not always the best time to be a pedestrian. Accident data in 2010 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides that 68 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at night, as visibility is the worst at this time.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to stay safe when walking at night is by increasing visibility. The following provides some pedestrian safety tips on walking after dark so drivers can better see you.
Carry a Flashlight When Walking at Night
If you plan on walking the streets of Dallas (or anywhere, for that matter) at night, carry a flashlight with you. While your eyes may adjust to the darkness, drivers may not be able to see you unless you are carrying a bright light.
If you forget to bring a flashlight with you, remember that cell phones may have flashlight apps and other electronic devices can illuminate you if necessary.
Take Advantage of Reflective Clothing or Other Materials
Many people may underestimate the importance of wearing reflective clothing or other reflective material (reflective tape, reflective armbands, etc.) when walking at night. While reflective clothing does not self-illuminate, it does reflect any direct light that comes in contact with it.
Drivers may see the reflection in their headlights at a distance and become aware that a pedestrian is nearby. You may also purchase flashing red or white lights that alert drivers of your presence; you may even attach reflective material or blinking lights to your pet’s collar or leash to keep it safe.
Stay on Sidewalks and Walking Paths if Possible
When walking at night, it is important that you stay on any paths designated for pedestrians. Even if you believe you are safe to walk in the road, a car may appear at any moment, putting you at risk for an accident.
Sidewalks generally offer the best protection for pedestrians. If a sidewalk is not present, it is safer to walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. Doing so can help you catch the attention of drivers coming your way or get out of the way to avoid an accident.
Cross the Street at a Crosswalk
Because fewer cars are on the roads during the night than during the day, some pedestrians may assume that it is safe to cross the street anywhere. In reality though, crossing the street in the absence of a crosswalk can put pedestrians in danger, as drivers may not be expecting anyone, and thus may not be exercising necessary caution.
Make sure to always use a crosswalk when walking at night and during the day, in order to avoid putting yourself at risk. Crosswalks may also have streetlights overhead to illuminate you when crossing.
If Hit by a Car, File a Claim for Damages
Unfortunately, these walking safety tips to improve your visibility when walking at night may not completely protect you from negligent motorists. If a driver strikes you and causes serious injury, you may file a claim against the negligent driver. You have up to two years after the accident to file a claim for damages. An attorney can help if you were in a pedestrian accident.
Don’t delay any further; contact us today at the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC in Dallas. When you call, we can set up an initial consultation to discuss your case. Feel free to contact us today by calling 214-290-8001.