The novel coronavirus has forced many people to stay home and off the roads. Because of this, many individuals and families have started taking walks or jogs around town and, when allowed, in local parks, just for a change in scenery. This has increased the number of pedestrians who are out and about for various reasons. While less traffic is generally good news for pedestrians, there is some bad news. Drivers are now inclined to speed and drive recklessly which means pedestrians who are struck by a car are much more likely to die or suffer catastrophic or permanent injuries.

Pedestrian safety tips during the COVID-19 health crisis

Pedestrians need to understand some of the protective steps they should take when they go out to walk to help reduce the risk of an accident:

  • Keep visible. Walkers should walk during daylight hours. They should walk in areas that are well-lit and on paths that are paved. They should wear bright clothing and should wear something reflective if they walk at night. Pedestrians should make sure they see the driver’s eyes or face to ensure proper communication when pedestrians walk in front of any vehicles.
  • Keep alert. It’s bad enough that drivers are often distracted due to eating while driving or looking at a GPS system. Walkers should also avoid distractions. Pedestrians shouldn’t talk on smartphones while walking and should keep their headphones at a volume low enough that they can hear horns and other car sounds.
  • Obey the rules. Walkers should make sure they only cross at intersections when the light is green or when there is a pedestrian walk signal. They should walk at crosswalks and not in the middle of the street.
  • Keep sober. Pedestrians who walk while intoxicated are just as much a danger to themselves as drivers who are intoxicated. Walkers who are drunk often make poor safety decisions and can’t respond to emergencies.
  • Walk where it’s safe. Walkers should walk on sidewalks and on non-highway paths. Walkers should generally walk in the same direction as the traffic is going and be as far to the right side of the road as possible. Walkers who are walking with other people or where other people are walking should make sure they follow the social six-foot social distancing guideline.

These safety tips should continue to apply as restrictions are lifted and there are more vehicles on the roadways.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people travel. No matter why you’re walking, we urge you to be careful. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis injury lawyers have the experience and resources to investigate pedestrian accidents and to hold liable parties accountable for all your damages. If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident, call our Memphis and Jackson lawyers at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.