Learn the Basics of Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians are the road’s most vulnerable users. They are defenseless in collisions with vehicles and can easily suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. Unfortunately, many drivers in Glendale do not take their responsibilities to pedestrians seriously. In 2017, almost 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic collisions throughout the U.S, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Increase your awareness of pedestrian safety to decrease your risk of collisions.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Like drivers, pedestrians have certain rules and regulations they must follow when walking the streets of Glendale, Arizona. Knowing and obeying these laws can keep your actions predictable to drivers around you – lowering the odds of an accident and suffering personal injuries. In Arizona, you may only walk in the road if a sidewalk or pedestrian tunnel is unavailable. If you must walk in the road, keep as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible and walk in the direction facing oncoming traffic.

Pedestrians do not automatically have the right-of-way in Glendale – even at intersections. This is a common misconception that has contributed to many pedestrian collisions. Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists and vehicles at crosswalks and intersections, when applicable. When using a crosswalk with an electronic signal, pedestrians must wait for the Walk signal to cross. If the crosswalk does not have a signal, pedestrians must wait until it is safe to cross.

Only Cross the Road at Crosswalks and Intersections

The term jaywalking is common slang for a pedestrian that crosses the road at a place other than a crosswalk or marked intersection. Arizona laws do not use the word jaywalking, but they prohibit pedestrians from crossing anywhere on a road other than at an intersection with a traffic signal or an official crosswalk. It is against the law to try to cross the road except in these designated spaces – especially if you dart out in front of traffic.

It is against the law for a pedestrian to step off a curb and into traffic if oncoming vehicles do not have enough time to stop. Even if this happens at a crosswalk, the pedestrian could be liable. When crossing at a crosswalk or marked intersection, check both ways before stepping out into the road, even if you have the right-of-way. Distracted or negligent drivers may drive through the crosswalk without looking or stopping. Legally, drivers must come to complete stops at crosswalks to let pedestrians pass.

Make Yourself Visible

Most fatal pedestrian collisions occur at night. Many drivers simply cannot see people walking or jogging near the road or across intersections at night. Other drivers may be guilty of negligence such as distracted or drunk driving, increasing the risk of striking pedestrians. If you can avoid it, do not go for a walk or run after sundown in Glendale. Otherwise, the best way to protect yourself is by wearing bright, reflective clothing. Invest in a reflective neon safety vest, or at least wear bright clothes to enhance your visibility to drivers.

Do Not Walk Home Intoxicated

Almost 50% of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2016 involved an intoxicated driver or pedestrian, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Never walk home under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This could lead to mistakes such as stepping out in front of traffic or stumbling off a sidewalk. Hail a cab, use Uber or Lyft, or call a sober friend to pick you up. You should also avoid bicycling under the influence (BUI). Although you cannot receive a criminal charge for BUI in Arizona, you can increase your risk of getting into a serious accident.

Always Pay Attention

Many people recognize the dangers of distracted driving but do not take distracted walking seriously. Texting and walking can increase the odds of leaving the curb before it is safe to do so. Stay alert at all times while walking around Glendale. Do not let your cellphone, iPod or other electronic devices take your attention away from the task at hand. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times to improve your pedestrian safety.