Although pedestrians should be given the right of way in most all situations, this doesn’t always end up being the case, which is why it’s up to people on foot to always be cognizant of their environment. In order to ensure safety, citizens of California may look to a report out of Virginia that nevertheless has relevance to pedestrians on this coast.
First off, pedestrians should never attempt to jaywalk, which is what happens if someone tries to run across traffic in the middle of a block. This accounts for numerous accidents all across the country every year. The simple truth is that vehicles aren’t ready for people to dart out in front of them at such points. Maybe you’re expecting them to stop, but if they don’t see you (if the sun is in their eyes, for instance), you could be struck.
Instead, make sure you’re using crosswalks, but only when the signal tells you it’s the right time to go. One mistake that a lot of people make while waiting impatiently is to edge onto the street itself. But if a vehicle gets near the curb or executes a turn, you could still be injured. Wait far enough back that this won’t be an issue.
If there are no signals, then you need to use particular caution when crossing. Lock eyes with drivers, make sure that vehicles in all lanes have come to a halt, and go only when you can be sure it’s safe. Cross swiftly, saving text messages or other distractions for when you’re out of traffic.