As a pedestrian, you’re the most vulnerable traveler, which is why it’s so important you practice safe and courteous habits on the road. Pay attention to your surroundings and give nonverbal signals to the drivers and bicyclists around you to let them know where you’re headed. Be an intelligent pedestrian, not an entitled one. Learn more about pedestrian safety here.

Use Crosswalks and “Go the Extra Mile”

We’ve all heard of jaywalking – crossing the street outside of a crosswalk – but did you know when a crosswalk isn’t available, it’s only legal to cross the street at an intersection? Go the extra mile to ensure your safety next time you cross the street. Always use a crosswalk any time one is present, even if you have to walk farther down the street to reach it. When there isn’t a designated crosswalk, cross the street only at an intersection once your path is clear of oncoming traffic.

Keep Your Head Up – Avoid Distractions!

Distractions are one of the leading causes of accidents on the road, and distracted walking can lead to serious injury. When you’re distracted, you’re more likely to take longer to cross the street, ignore traffic signals or neglect to look both ways, potentially putting yourself and others in harm’s way. Unplug and focus on your surroundings!

Use pedestrian push button and obey traffic signals.

Pedestrian push buttons are in place to give you an opportunity to cross the street safely. Use the push buttons at intersections when available to help ensure your safety and always obey the signals. Do not cross the street if the signal tells you to “wait” or reads “Don’t Walk.” Also, remember that at a traffic light, the green left-turn arrow comes on before the green straight-through light. To avoid a potential conflict from left turning vehicles, the “Walk” signal will come on after the green left-turn arrow goes off. Stay safe and wait for the “Walk”.

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

Courtesy Wisconsin Bike Fed

As a pedestrian, in the City of Auburn and on Auburn University’s campus, you only have the right-of-way at a crosswalk in two situations: when a traffic signal grants you permission to cross and when you have enough time to cross the street without causing an approaching vehicle to slow down. Drivers and cyclists are only required to stop for pedestrians who are already within a crosswalk, not just approaching or waiting at one, except when the vehicle is already stopped, such as at a stop sign or an all-way stop intersection!

Don’t assume drivers can see you.

When walking or running after sunset, don’t assume drivers can see you. Studies show that pedestrians walking in dark colored clothing at night are first seen approximately 55 feet away – giving a driver traveling at 25 mph a less than one second reaction time. A driver traveling at 25 mph needs more than 150 feet to stop safely. Just because you see a driver’s headlights does not mean the driver can see you, even when you’re wearing white clothing. Wear reflective clothing at night and always be on the lookout for drivers and bicyclists.