Walking at night can be dangerous for pedestrians due to reduced visibility and increased risks on the road. It is important to understand the potential dangers and take precautions to stay safe when walking after dark.
On top of going over the factors that contribute to nighttime pedestrian accidents, drivers and pedestrians should review strategies to help pedestrians stay safe.
Reduced visibility and distractions
Reduced visibility stands out as one of the main reasons nighttime pedestrian accidents occur. Dark streets make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians, especially if they are not wearing reflective clothing or carrying a light source. It is a good idea for pedestrians to wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. The flashlight feature on phones can also increase visibility.
Distracted driving is another risk factor for pedestrian accidents, both during the day and at night. Drivers who become distracted by their phones, eating or other activities are less likely to notice pedestrians crossing the road. Drivers and pedestrians should realize that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 8,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2021.
Crossing the road at designated crosswalks is the safest option for pedestrians, especially at night. Crosswalks are usually well lit and clearly marked, making it easier for drivers to see pedestrians. Pedestrians should use crosswalks whenever possible and wait for the traffic signal or pedestrian crossing sign to indicate that it is safe to cross.
Walking against traffic helps pedestrians avoid surprises and gives drivers a better chance to see them. Pedestrians as well as drivers should always stay alert and aware of their surroundings. By being proactive and following these safety tips, pedestrians can reduce the risk of an accident that could cause serious injuries.