Walking near traffic is dangerous, no matter where you are. When you are vacationing, it can be even more dangerous. Not only is there the risk that you might be distracted by new and different surroundings but the people operating motor vehicles might also be distracted and not watching for pedestrians.
If you are vacationing on Oahu, you might find it difficult to avoid getting swept up in the sights and sounds of the beauty of the island. However, if you are walking near traffic, it is important that you still follow these pedestrian safety tips.
Make yourself visible
In general, it is best not to fully trust people who are behind the wheel. In other words, even if you have the right of way and all traffic is stopped, be sure to make eye contact with drivers before you attempt to cross the street. Also, wear light colors or reflective material that will draw the driver’s attention to your presence. Staying in well-lit areas will also help you to be more visible.
Don’t get distracted
Cellphones can be as distracting and dangerous for pedestrians as they are to drivers. To stay safe while you are walking near traffic, put the phone away, stay alert and keep the music turned down. You can decrease your chances of an accident if you can both see and hear what is going on around you.
Follow traffic rules
Be sure to follow traffic rules and obey the signs and signals. Also, be aware of the rules that the vehicles have to follow. This will increase your chances of staying safe. However, never assume that the cars will actually follow traffic laws.
Stay in safe areas
When you are walking near the road, try to stay in areas where there are sidewalks, walking paths or a very generous shoulder. Face into traffic when you are walking as this will allow you to watch what the cars nearest you are doing. Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t walk along highways or other places where pedestrians are not allowed.
Don’t walk and drink
Approximately 50% of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol consumption. Of this, 34% of the instances involve intoxication of the pedestrian. Just like with drivers, alcohol can impair your decision-making, reflexes and general judgment. While it is never a good idea to get behind the wheel after drinking, it can also be dangerous to walk to your next destination. Consider opting for a taxi, rideshare or other safe ride to get home or to your hotel.
While the above safety tips can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a pedestrian accident, it may not be possible to always the avoid the actions of a negligent driver. If you have been in a pedestrian accident as a tourist, you might be able to file a claim for your injuries and other damages.