For some reason, “walking down the street” has been identified as an innocuous scenario. For example, many in Manassas may use it when justifying certain activities, saying that you can just as easily be injured “walking down the street.” This phrase affords little appreciation to just how dangerous walking down the street can be, particularly in those scenarios where you (as a pedestrian) may be forced to share the road with vehicles.
When walking, the sidewalk is typically your domain. Vehicles do not drive on it, and you (in turn) avoid walking in the road. Yet there may be times when walking along the roadway is required, such as when no sidewalks are available or those that are may be inaccessible (either due to damage or construction work). The question then becomes how can you safely walk on the road while not interfering with traffic.
According to Section 46.2-928 of the Code of Virginia, if you are forced to walk on the main traveled portion of the highway, you are to remain entirely within the shoulder of the road where the shoulder has sufficient enough space to permit. If there is no shoulder, then you must remain to the extreme left (up to the edge) of the roadway so as to allow vehicles to pass unencumbered.
Many may say that you are also required to walk in the direction facing oncoming traffic. While this may certainly be wise counsel (as it may be easier to avoid a potential collision if you can see the vehicles coming at you), it is not an actual legal requirement.