Pedestrians are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to being hit by a motor vehicle. Especially when big rigs and semi trucks are present, pedestrians need to be careful at all times. This article will discuss some important things that pedestrians should do to stay safe around commercial vehicles.
Pedestrians should stay alert and pay attention to where they are walking. Always be careful to use crosswalks when crossing the road and to walk on sidewalks when they are available. Pedestrians should also look at walk signals. When walking along the side of the road or standing on a corner, stand as far away as possible from traffic, keep an eye on the surroundings and be ready to step back.
Blind spot awareness is crucial. Big trucks and big buses have big blind spots where vehicles and pedestrians are hidden from the driver's view. Pedestrians should assume that the driver of a truck cannot see them, and they should never walk directly behind a bus or semi truck -- especially when it is backing up.
Buses and big rigs need more space to come to a halt. Because they are so heavy, these large vehicles cannot stop on a dime and it takes them longer to slow down.
Visibility is key. Although it might seem "less than stylish" to wear reflective clothing and/or a reflective vest when going for a walk, this added piece of equipment will make a pedestrian more visible and could save his or her life. A lot of sporting goods lines are making interesting lines reflective gear, however, so it is possible to find something that will keep a pedestrian looking stylish.
Obviously, big rigs and buses need to make an effort to avoid striking pedestrians too. In fact, the law is usually on the pedestrian's side, as pedestrians are given the right of way by the courts in most cases of an accident -- so long as they are not darting into traffic or dangerously walking in the middle of the road. When the truck or bus driver is faulted in these incidents, pedestrians may wish to pursue a personal injury claim to recover financial damages related to their injuries.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Safety Tips for Pedestrians," accessed Aug. 30, 2016