Walking is a great way to tour a city, especially one you are unfamiliar with. Driving in Miami can be a bit tricky if you are a tourist, and walking may quickly become your choice for getting from here to there. While hoofing it may be safer than driving a vehicle along a grid you aren’t used to, it is not without its risk. Here are some tips for being a safe pedestrian as a tourist to our beautiful city.
While it’s certainly more important at night to ensure your visibility to drivers, it’s a safety issue no matter the time of day. If you are going to be walking, be sure to wear light, bright colors instead of darker ones like black or navy. Stay in areas that are well-lit as the sun goes down and consider carrying a glow stick or wearing reflective tape on your clothing.
If you are going to cross a street, don’t depend on a crosswalk signal to tell you it’s safe. If there are vehicles present, make sure that you make eye contact with drivers before you step into the roadway. Never assume that a car is going to stop for you. People are ticketed for driving into and through crosswalks all the time.
Make sure you know all of the rules of the road before you set off on foot. Follow signs that allow pedestrians and those that tell you to stay out of a certain area. Know the traffic laws so you can anticipate what a driver may or may not do. A driver may not always give you the right of way, even if they are supposed to. You are far safer to assume that a driver doesn’t see you or care about you than to assume they do.
Always use a crosswalk where one is available, even if it means having to walk a bit further to get to it. If there are no crosswalks available, wait to cross until there is enough light and traffic is fairly minimal. Stick to the sidewalks when you can. If there are no sidewalks and you are forced to walk on the street, stay as far to the right as you can. Walk facing traffic to increase your visibility. Don’t walk on highways and stay out of dark alleys and other poorly-lit areas.
There’s nothing wrong with drinking and walking, right? Wrong. Just as drinking dulls your reaction time when you are behind the wheel, it slows your reaction time when you are on your feet. Not to mention you may find it difficult to maintain your balance or your sense of direction. Any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to make good decisions. Avoid drinking if you are going to be walking in the city.
Keep your head up and your eyes focused on your path. Don’t walk while looking down at your mobile device, avoid keeping your head turned to address your family members or friends, and stay aware of your surroundings. Distracted driving is dangerous, and so is distracted walking. By not looking where you are going, you are putting yourself at risk for slips and trips and you may even be putting yourself at a higher risk for becoming the victim of a crime.
Many people forget the safety risks involved in with walking. We tend to think that it’s a safer form of travel and we may be right, but it is not without danger. In fact, between now and this same time tomorrow, about 430 people will be seen in emergency rooms around the country for injuries sustained while walking. Every two hours, on average, a person is killed after being struck by a vehicle.
You are most at risk of being struck by a vehicle in urban areas where traffic congestion is high. Never be arrogant enough to think that a driver will yield to you or your party. Don’t think that because you step into a crosswalk that car barrelling toward you is going to slow down. Chances are you will be proven wrong. While most drivers are vigilant about looking out for pedestrians, you can’t take the behavior for granted.
If you are walking in Miami and experience an accident with a vehicle, please reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation, discuss the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights. Let us help you take the most appropriate steps in seeking compensation for your injuries and property damage. You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages and more. Call today to schedule your consultation.