Why You Should Look Both Ways When Crossing the Street (Even if the “Walk” Sign is Lit)

Crossing the Street

Pedestrian safety is not always guaranteed by stoplights and “walk” signs. You have to assume responsibility for your own life when crossing roads and walking on the sides of streets. It is crucial to remember that, in the case of your safety as a pedestrian, the attention you pay to your surroundings of the utmost importance.

Remember What You Were Taught

As children, you were taught to look both ways before you crossed a street, and this safety rule is still vital to pedestrian safety. But, if the “walk” sign is lit at an intersection, do you still have to look both ways?

The answer is YES. There are times that a car will drive through a red light. Whether this is done on purpose or by accident doesn’t matter because the result is the same – you can be hit crossing an intersection when the “walk” sign is on. Looking both ways helps to keep you in control of your own safety, ensuring that there are no imminent dangers present that can harm you.

New Distractions

A new danger for pedestrians is held in their hands. Smartphones and tablets distract us from our surroundings. Most people walk around with their phones in their hands, not paying attention to what is around them. You can take control of this new danger as well by simply pocketing your smartphone and putting up your tablet when you are walking around busy streets and crossing the road.

See crosswalk etiquette here: 

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Looking both ways before crossing the street will always be an effective way to ensure your safety. There are also many other ways that you can stay safe as a pedestrian, like walking facing the traffic, watching for turning cars, and being careful in parking lots. No matter how busy you are, just make sure that you are paying attention to your surroundings and putting your best foot forward.


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