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Pedestrian Etiquette 101

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Online

There’s a lot to be said for observing common courtesies every day – especially when it comes to driving. Not only should you be polite to other drivers, but you also should keep pedestrians in mind. Too often we see stories in the news about pedestrians being killed by motor vehicles. In an effort to protect those traveling on foot (or bike, or skateboard, etc.), the Defensive Driving team has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to encounters with pedestrians:


  • DO yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. By law, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, so pay attention when approaching such intersections.


  • DO NOT ignore pedestrians if they are jaywalking. Although as a driver you might not be liable if you hit a person who is not obeying pedestrian laws, it’s a good rule of thumb to always yield to pedestrians.


  • DO stay alert and focused. Pedestrians can be anywhere at any time, regardless of posted signs or warnings. While you should always be alert and focused while driving, it is especially important that you keep an eye out for anyone traveling in the street or on the sidewalk.


  • DO NOT forget to watch for pedestrians at night. Use your brights when necessary if you’re having trouble seeing.


Similarly, pedestrians should honor the rules of the road, too:


  • DO look both ways before crossing the street. It’s a concept everyone learns at an early age, but it’s for your own good. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.


  • DO make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street to confirm that they know you’re preparing to walk.


  • DO stay on sidewalks and the right-hand side of crosswalks. If the road you’re on doesn’t have a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.


  • DO watch for oncoming traffic when exiting a bus or when stepping out from behind parked cars.


  • DO, as a passenger, get in and out of a car on the curb side of the street.


No matter how you’re getting from point A to point B, mind your manners and be considerate of others – it’s the law!


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