Walking in Atlanta at any time of day carries risks for pedestrians. But drivers may have more difficulty seeing a pedestrian when the sun goes down. In 2012, a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 68% of pedestrian deaths occurred at night.
Whether dawn, dusk, or nighttime, pedestrians should take extra precautions when walking in the dark even if streetlights line their path.
Pedestrian Safety Tips to Increase Visibility When Walking at Night
To stay safe and reduce your risk of an accident, keep the following in mind before taking your next walk at night:
- Choose appropriate clothing. Don’t wear dark clothes. Opt instead for light or brightly colored clothes. The best type is reflective clothing. For instance, a vest, gloves, hat, ankle and armbands with reflective strips. But make sure the reflective strips are on the front and back, so a driver can see you from all angles.
- Some clothes come designed with reflective material. But you can also put reflective strips on your own clothing or use iron-on reflective transfers. Another option is to use Velcro adhesive reflectors that wrap around a dog leash, purse strap or backpack.
- Bring along some light. To increase visibility, carry a flashlight or wear a flasher. Headlamps are another option. They’re worn as a strap around the head or they come built into a hat. Some lights clip right onto a hat. Flashing LED lights are great too. If walking a dog, consider purchasing a collar and leash that comes with these lights, or attach one yourself.
- Be smart about where you walk. It’s best to cross the street in a well-lit area. Use a crosswalk whenever available. And don’t come out between hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles. Always use the sidewalk. But if a walkway isn’t available, face traffic when walking on the street.
- Be aware of motorists. Never assume that a motorist sees you or that the driver will even stop if he or she does. Also, don’t rely on traffic or pedestrian control signals and signs to dictate motorists’ behavior. Always look before crossing a street.
- Walk smartly. Even with these safety measures in place, you can never be too careful. Never take risks or assume that others can see you. Avoid walking while under the influence of alcohol and street drugs. But also avoid walking at night if taking prescription drugs that could cause fatigue or impairment.
As dangerous as distracted driving is, it’s the same for pedestrians. Texting at night includes dangers that texting and walking during the day doesn’t, like the afterimage of your phone’s screen as you raise your eyes to the darkness.
Besides missing an oncoming vehicle, you also put yourself at risk for attack. Avoid wearing in-ear headphones or standard headphones, as this can prevent you from hearing a horn or other important sounds.
Contact an Attorney if Seriously Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
The reality is that pedestrians can do everything in their power to increase visibility, but following these pedestrian safety tips doesn’t guarantee protection from an accident. A driver’s careless or reckless actions can cause serious physical harm.
To learn if you have a case, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel. Injured pedestrians may recover compensation to cover their medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.