According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, pedestrians represented nearly 15% of auto accident fatalities from August 2019 to August 2020. Safety measures can reduce the risk of unfortunate pedestrian deaths.

If you are a frequent pedestrian, follow these guidelines to protect yourself from an auto accident.

Obey traffic signals

When you walk in an area where cars also drive, you must follow the same rules that apply to motor vehicles. Stop at red lights and proceed through intersections only when the walk signal appears. Stay in the crosswalk and avoid jaywalking or otherwise behaving unpredictably, which increases your risk of getting hit by a car.

Know where to walk

Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible. When traveling by foot in an area without sidewalks, stay as far to the side of the road as possible and walk facing traffic so drivers can see you. Even if you have a sidewalk available, pay close attention when passing driveways and parking lots, especially in areas with limited visibility.

Boost visibility

Avoid walking after dark if possible. If you must travel by foot at night, use a flashlight or place reflective tape on your clothing. Even during the day, bright colors make it easier for drivers to see you. When walking on or crossing the road, make eye contact with drivers before proceeding so they notice you.

Avoid distractions and dangers

Drinking and walking can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Do not travel on foot when using alcohol or other substances.

In addition, put your smartphone away while walking in areas with traffic. Many serious pedestrian accidents result from inattention at busy intersections.