Pedestrian Safety Tips for Walking at Night

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The Bellevue government takes great precaution to make its city’s pedestrian areas friendly. The city program ‘Keep It Neighborly’ encourages citizens to clear the sidewalks and pathways in front of homes and businesses to help less mobile pedestrians, and pedestrians in general.

After all, you don’t have to be suffering mobility issues to be injured while walking on an obstructed sidewalk. You could be forced into the street while trying to get around the object, or hurt yourself trying to cross over it. But you should also take additional safety precautions when enjoying a stroll in the Bellevue evening.

Tips for Walking at Night

Walking generally brings with it certain hazards, namely traffic. But there are additional risks when taking a walk at night.

The following are some basic pedestrian safety tips if you’re walking after the sun goes down:

  • Walk in well-lit areas. Avoid streets without lighting if at all possible, and do not take shortcuts through poorly lit areas.
  • Wear bright clothing and a reflector so motorists can see you.
  • Carry a flashlight or other light source to increase your visibility and also so you can see the path more clearly.
  • Stay on sidewalks when available. Washington requires pedestrians who must walk on the roadway to walk on the left side or on the shoulder facing traffic approaching from the other direction. Pedestrians must then move clear of the road when a vehicle approaches.
  • Obey traffic signals and devices unless a police officer directs otherwise including pedestrian signals.
  • Avoid isolated areas. If possible, walk with another person or in a group to increase your chances of help if an accident occurs and to also protect yourself from crime.
  • Assume drivers do not see you. While you should do whatever you can to increase your visibility, do not walk into a crosswalk assuming that the oncoming vehicle can see you. It’s best to wait to be sure the vehicle stops than to make a wrong assumption.


Pedestrian Duties

As a pedestrian, you do have duties and obligations to fulfill on the road, the same as bikers and drivers. Pedestrians must obey traffic control signals, of course, including those indicating ‘Walk,’ ‘Don’t Walk,’ etc.

Pedestrians must also exercise caution and are not permitted to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and enter the path of a vehicle where the vehicle does not have sufficient time to stop. Pedestrians and others must also follow all right of way rules.

Washington Negligence Laws

Washington state has a comparative negligence law when it comes to pedestrian traffic accidents. This means that if you are involved in an accident, your comparative negligence will proportionally reduce your damages per the Revised Code of Washington 4.22.005.

So if you are 35 percent responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 35 percent. So although pedestrian safety is primarily about avoiding accidents and injury, following all the rules is also important to avoid liability if an accident were to occur.

If a car injured you while walking in Bellevue, call Max Meyers Law today to set up your free consultation. Just dial 425-399-7000 or set up your appointment via our contact page.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.