Pedestrian Safety in Montana
Most of us are pedestrians at one time or another every day - the moment you leave your home, office, or vehicle you become a pedestrian. The best way to avoid collisions with vehicles is to be prepared and be aware of traffic around you. While the law assigns pedestrians the right of way, it does not dismiss pedestrians of using due care for their own safety.
- Obey traffic signals. At intersections where traffic is controlled by signals or a traffic officer, pedestrians must obey the signal and not cross against the stop signal unless specifically directed to go by a traffic officer.
- Walk on sidewalks. If sidewalks are not available, walk on the edge of the road along the shoulder facing oncoming traffic.
- Look left, right, and left for traffic. Stop at the curb and look left, right, and left again for traffic. Stopping at the curb signals drivers that you intend to cross. Always obey traffic signals.
- See and be seen. Drivers need to see you to avoid you.
- Stay out of the driver's blind spot.
- Never assume a driver sees you - make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets.
- Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing when walking at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Watch for vehicles entering or exiting driveways.
- Watch your kids. Small children should not cross streets by themselves or be allowed to play or walk near traffic. Kids cannot accurately judge vehicle distances and speeds, and may make unpredictable movements.
- Drinking and walking? Alcohol can impair the judgment and motor skills of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take alcohol risks with walking, just as you would not with driving. Take the bus, take a cab, or have a friend drive you home.
- Stay alert. Avoid using electronic devices while walking. Cell phones and music players can distract you by taking your eyes and ears off the road.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, MDT