Biking and walking are great for the environment and your health! It’s a win-win. We encourage people to bike and walk as much as possible as a recreational activity and as a form of exercise. With biking and walking outside, there are important safety guidelines to pay attention to. Learn more safety tips and a great organization that helps teach students about bicycle safety!
The core of pedestrian safety falls into three categories: always stay visible, alert, and watchful!
Make sure you’re visible to others when walking at all times. If they can’t see you, then they don’t know you’re there! If it’s nighttime, have a flashlight or wear brightly colored clothing. Try to stay in well-lit areas and always stay clear and off to the side when walking along roads.
Always remain alert when walking! Always stay on the sidewalk and if there isn’t one then stay to the edge of the road. Never assume a vehicle sees you and will obey all traffic laws. When crossing the road, try to make eye contact with the driver to make sure they see you and are yielding to you.
According to the Center for Disease Control, in the next 24 hours 430 people will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. The best way to protect yourself is to always stay watchful and obey all rules. Try to cross the street in designated crosswalks, obey all traffic signals, and keep an eye out for vehicles.
Bicycle Safety Tips
When it comes to bicycle safety the best way to stay safe and follow the correct traffic rules is to think of yourself as a vehicle. Never weave in and out of traffic or go against traffic. Use your bicycle traffic signals just like you would in a car. If you don’t communicate with a signal then other vehicles won’t know what you’re about to do, creating risk for an accident.
Traffic Signals for Cyclists
- Arm straight out for turning left
- Arm held up for right
- Arm held down for stop
Follow the same general rules for pedestrians; visible, alert, and watchful. Always stay visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Stay alert while riding your bike just like you do with your car. As always, stay watchful while riding your bike and keep an eye out for other cyclists and vehicles. Most importantly: always wear a helmet.
The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation is a non-profit organization that promotes and educates biking and walking safety. They offer a program called BLAST (Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training) which provides curriculum to students to learn about bicycling and pedestrian safety. To learn more about BLAST, please visit their website!
The Morrissey Law Firm, P.C., is located in Springfield, Missouri, and focuses in personal injury and wrongful death trial work. If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, please contact us to schedule a consultation.