Rather than drive, you often walk to various destinations around West Virginia. While walking may be great for your health, it is not without its accident risks. Maybe you recently had a close call with a driver, or perhaps a driver physically struck and injured you. Either way, it is good to know the reasons for pedestrian accidents and how to safely arrive at your destination.

Stick to the proper lane

Whenever possible, walk along the sidewalk or facing traffic when you must walk in the street. Both reduce the chances of unnecessary accidents. You should also try to cross at designated crosswalks or intersections.

Remain alert

While music or podcasts make for great accompaniment during walks, they can also serve as a distraction. Either walk without wearing earbuds or headphones or turn the sound down to a level that allows you to hear oncoming traffic. Using your phone while walking serves as another distraction. Cars making left-hand turns may not see you crossing the street, even if you do so legally. By walking free of distractions, you increase your chances of noticing drivers who fail to notice you.

Stay visible

Do you often walk at night or in poorly lit areas? If so, drivers may have a hard time seeing you. Refrain from wearing dark colors at night, and carry a flashlight or wear reflective materials so motorists have an easier time spotting you. You may feel silly donning a reflective vest while walking, but wearing one can also make you feel safer. On a similar note, make eye contact with drivers before crossing into their paths to ensure they notice you. This is especially essential while navigating parking lots and driveways.

Refrain from alcohol and drug use

Drinking and driving not only makes for bad drivers, but it also makes for bad pedestrians, too. You do not want to walk with impaired judgment, as you essentially become a danger to yourself if a car comes along. Walking impaired also slows your reflexes, which prove vital for avoiding close calls with inattentive motorists.

Follow the rules of the road

Just because you are not behind the wheel of a vehicle does not mean you should not obey traffic signs and the rules of the road like a motorist would. Being a predictable pedestrian stopping and crossing at designated spots and following the rules of the road protects you; doing so could act as a defense if you suffer a personal injury at the hands of a negligent motorist.

Following every safety tip is not an airtight guarantee of your protection. Consult with a personal injury legal professional in West Virginia if you sustain harm at the hands of an irresponsible driver.