It’s crucial for Virginia drivers to respect the presence of pedestrians when out and about. However, pedestrians must also do their part to remain safe, or they risk being involved in a serious and potentially life-threatening accident. These tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration illustrate what you can do to keep yourself and others safe and sound this summer.

When walking with children, make sure they understand the importance of proper pedestrian behavior. Kids often behave unpredictably when walking. Weaving between parked cars and forgoing crosswalks means they will be less visible to vehicles driving in the same area. Until your children are old enough to walk along streets on their own, make sure you supervise their behavior. You should also strive to set a good example at all times. 

You can do this by remaining alert to surrounding traffic. Never use a mobile device while walking, especially when you’re close to the street. Mobile devices are a distraction, and much like when driving the use of such a device while walking can easily lead to a collision. Keep your eyes and ears open, especially at night when it can be tough to see an oncoming vehicle until it’s too late. 

It’s also best to use crosswalks at all times. In those instances when no crosswalk is available, find the safest place to cross the street and wait until you’re absolutely sure that you have enough time between vehicles before crossing. In the same token, never assume a driver notices you unless you’ve received some sort of indication or signal. Make eye contact with the driver to alert him or her of your presence and only proceed when given the all clear. When walking at night, try to wear bright clothing to increase the chance that you’ll be seen.