Crossing the road seems to be an easy, thoughtless action that people do almost every day. However, crossing the road or walking near the street may also lead to accidents. Whether you are just a pedestrian crossing the street, a driver of an automobile, or a cyclist, it is crucial to be aware of the safest rules and procedures when you are a pedestrian crossing a busy street.

How To Keep Yourself Safe When You’re A Pedestrian On A Busy Street

  1. Only cross at authorized crosswalks.


Start looking for painted or colored lines on the road that mark as a secure crosswalk which enables pedestrians to safely cross the road. In many locations, pedestrians are painted white and are positioned perpendicularly to the street. However, this is dependent on state laws and each location could have a different system. Be sure to consult the regional transport department to learn more.

Some pedestrian lanes utilize a few rectangle-shaped “cubes” of paint. Some pedestrian lanes use two equidistant lines to categorize several rectangular “cubes” of paint to signify where you need to walk across, but others utilize two parallel lines to classify the crosswalk.

In some cases, you may also observe pedestrian lanes that intersect with another road, sometimes in the middle in massive and busy streets.

  1. Look for accessible pedestrian signage.


Try to check for buttons near pedestrian lanes that can either tell you to WALK or DON’T WALK. When you have access to certain buttons, it can help everyone cross safely.

Once you’ve pushed the button to manipulate the pedestrian signs, patiently wait on the curb. Then, check if the sign indicates to WALK, or whichever sign is used in your locale to specify that it is safe to cross.

When there are absolutely no pedestrian-initiated buttons, cross with additional caution once the normal traffic light turns to red, or whenever vehicles halt during stop signs and allow you to cross.

  1. Cross once the sign says WALK.


Cross the road just when the pedestrian sign tells you to WALK. This signal can be white letters which state WALK, a white emblem of someone walking, or a different symbol used in your locale to instruct “walk.” Observe the street in both ways to further guarantee it is safe to cross on a busy street.

In the U.S., this can help you instantly see approaching traffic in the lane you are walking into. Some countries’ traffic is on the left side; thus you must look from right-left-right on the street before crossing.

Look closely at the pedestrian signs, and not the traffic lights for automobiles. Take note that a red traffic light or stop sign does not necessarily indicate it is safe to cross.

Don’t cross when you find the inactive DON’T WALK signal or other symbols indicating the same instruction such as an orange hand sign, or a countdown that gives you insufficient time to cross the pedestrian lane.

Keep eye contact with motorists and drivers at the junction where you will be crossing into. This assures you that they see you, and can give you a signal in their way. This is another way of crossing a street safely, especially for crosswalks that do not have stop lights.

  1. Cross with caution if there are no pedestrian signs.

Cross with extra caution whenever there aren’t any pedestrian signals.

When at a traffic light intersection, patiently wait until the lights switch to red so that vehicles will stop where you’re hoping to cross. Look both ways and listen for any indication that a car is failing to stop before crossing your path.

At a stop sign intersection, be extra careful when making eye contact with the drivers on both sides of the street even when they aren’t moving in front of a stop sign. You may see them giving you hand signals, or honk their cars as an indication to let you walk across.

  1. Look for careful means to cross when there is no pedestrian lane.

When there are absolutely no crosswalks offered in the locale or region, proceed to the nearest intersection or any well-lit sections and walk across with further caution whenever there are no approaching cars.

Make sure vehicles are far away before crossing, or that there’s no any traffic in either direction. Look both ways a few times before crossing the street, even in low-traffic streets or rural areas.

Be aware that it is unsafe to cross a high-street road, such as the frontage street for an expressway or highway, with no pedestrian lanes at an intersection. In cases like this, you have to walk on the curb going to an intersection with stop lights, stop signs or pedestrian lanes. Don’t try to cross here without the guidance of signs and road markers.


Always remember the steps mentioned above to keep yourself safe when you are a pedestrian on a busy street. If you are ever in a pedestrian-related injury, then it’s essential to collect all information about the driver. Then, consult with an attorney in case there are any necessary legal procedures. Also, have yourself checked if you have been in a road injury. Chances are, the injuries are internal rather than external.

Author Bio: Irene Wall has been writing about law for more than a decade. She writes pieces on various law topics that she hopes could help the common reader with their concerns. She enjoys playing basketball with her sons during her free time.

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