Pedestrians are vulnerable when walking in and near roadways. While they should follow laws and do their part to stay safe, you also have to look out for them. As a driver, part of your duty is to ensure you share the road safely with everyone.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles explains that you have a legal obligation to watch out for pedestrians and to prevent accidents with them.
Keep a watchful eye
You should always be alert when behind the wheel. When you are in an area that has pedestrian traffic or where homes are located, you need to always look out for people in the roadway. Every few seconds, you need to scan your surroundings and note any pedestrians.
You should be especially careful when backing up as it is difficult to see everything behind you. If you have a backup camera, use it every time. Check behind your vehicle before you get in it and leave right away to avoid someone walking into the area without you knowing it.
You need to be extra careful when it comes to children. They do not always know safe practices or they do not realize the danger of being on the road. If you are in an area with a lot of children, such as a school zone or playground, slow down and watch out.
Know the law
The law says that pedestrians must walk the opposite of traffic, but even if they do not follow this, you still must yield the right of way to them and safely drive around them. If you see someone who is blind, be aware that they always have the right of way no matter where they may try to cross the road or what traffic signals may say.
If a pedestrian is crossing in an area in which it is legal for him or her to do so, then he or she always has the right of way and you must yield.