Although drivers ought to provide the right of way to pedestrians in many situations, that doesn’t always happen. Pedestrians have to take their wellbeing into their own hands, and to help people achieve that, the fire department of Santa Barbara County has put together a series of tips that could benefit anyone in California.
Many accidents occur in the middle of the block, so pedestrians can protect themselves by opting to use the crosswalk and the corners of intersections at all times. Drivers simply don’t expect pedestrians outside of such crossings, but if you’re in the intersection, they’ll hopefully at the very least recognize that there’s a greater chance of someone being in the road.
Pedestrians should never, ever assume that drivers are going to stop when they’re supposed to. Maybe their vision is blocked by another vehicle or by the setting sun, maybe they’re distracted by a cellphone. Always make sure that you can catch the driver’s eyes with your own as you cross, and ensure that there aren’t any vehicles in the lane next to them that are still accelerating. Just because the first car stopped doesn’t mean that the second will.
Finally, do not act like a Walk Signal is a get-out-of-accident-free card. You should always look both directions to make sure no one is cavalierly plowing through the intersection. If you’re approaching while the flashing don’t walk sign is illuminated, wait until the next round so that you don’t have to rush or get stuck in the middle of the street.