Pedestrian Safety Tips

Over the last decade, the city of Tampa has experienced significant revitalization in spots like Downtown, Channelside, and Tampa Heights! New apartments, condominiums and office buildings have popped up, and pedestrian traffic in many of these areas is higher than ever! With that, there is a natural risk of pedestrian accidents.In fact, the NHTSA reports that an average of 168 pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic incidents every single day in the United States. Here are four (4) pedestrian safety tips in mind as you navigate the roads, or hit the pavement for your next walk around town: 

  1. Use crosswalks! Although it may feel convenient or quicker to hop from one side of the street to another when you’re nowhere near an intersection, it can be extremely dangerous! Don’t put yourself at risk for convenience. Always cross where there is a designated crosswalk.
  2. Stay visible! While it’s a nuisance at any time to limit your wardrobe options, it’s always a good idea to play ahead if you know you’ll be taking a walk or running downtown. Bright colors can make it much more obvious to drivers in tight city streets to see you, especially at night.
  3. Look both ways before you cross! We know, it sounds like something you were taught in kindergarten, but if it was good advice then, it’s probably still good advice now. With this tip, there’s no technology needed, no special planning ahead of time, it’s just simple and can be lifesaving. Look twice before you cross the street.
  4. Stay off your phone at intersections! Avoid texting, answering emails, browsing social media or whatever else might take your attention when at an intersection. We all know driving while texting or on the phone is a safety issue, and it’s no different when walking the streets. Having your head down with your attention diverted from traffic, stop lights, and street signals can keep you from making informed and safe decisions.

Remember, just as when you’re in the driver seat, being attentive and cautious as a pedestrian is always the safest approach! Don’t ever assume that drivers are going to give you the right of way and do your best to stay visible to those navigating traffic on the roads. Always keep eye contact with the driver while crossing. And remember, the safest way to approach busy and crowded downtown streets is to follow the rules of the road. Stay aware of traffic signals, utilize crosswalks, and always remember what your Kindergarten teacher always used to say, “Look both ways before you cross!”