A crosswalk may give you the right of way. It may give you some protection in the sense that it alerts drivers that pedestrians may cross the road at that point. But it does not protect you at all when those drivers make a mistake. This is why it's so important to know what steps you can take to keep yourself safe.
To get you started, here are a few important safety tips:
- Never venture into the street without first stopping at the curb to visually inspect the crossing.
- There are cases where parked cars may make it hard to see or been seen from the curb. If so, you can move a step or two into the road, where you want to pause again at the outside edge of the nearest car.
- Do not just look both ways once. Instead, look three times. You start by looking left, then you look right and then you look left again.
- Remember that cars may turn and cross the intersection. They could turn left from the cross street or turn right behind you. Check in all directions and be aware as you cross.
- Speaking of being aware, do not use your phone when crossing the road. Never text as you walk. If you're listening to music, pause it until you cross safely.
- Keep your pace consistent. Do not slow down or speed up.
- Always assume drivers are not going to stop. Even if they're supposed to, do not walk in front of a car that is in motion.