We have written quite a bit about the dangers to pedestrians crossing streets legally in crosswalks. Pedestrians are actually in greater peril in crosswalks than almost anywhere else. Just being in the right is not enough to ensure safety. So what is a walker to do to stay safe?
First, be mindful that drivers can’t be relied on to stop in time and act accordingly.
Look carefully in all directions before stepping into the crosswalk, even if there is a signal that says you may walk. Look to the left, the right, and then back to the left again. Start by putting one foot into the crosswalk and extending your arm to signal that you are going to cross. Do not continue until you see all cars have stopped. Keep looking as you cross. Be especially aware of vehicles turning. As you pass each stopped vehicle, look into the next lane you will be crossing to make sure there are no moving vehicles approaching. Try to make eye contact with drivers of stopped or approaching vehicles.
On the average, six pedestrians are severely injured every day in Florida. Ten pedestrians are killed in the average week. The majority of pedestrians are crossing a street when hit by a car. So remember, even though you have the right of way when legally in a crosswalk, it is more important to be safe than to be right!