One beauty of living in New Orleans is that there are many places where you can walk. The downside is that drivers in the city aren’t always as cautious as they should be when around pedestrians. It is up to everyone, including all drivers and pedestrians, to keep the roads safe.
Some areas of the city have higher rates of pedestrians. While some of these only allow limited vehicle traffic, there is still a chance of injuries when automobiles are allowed through them.
Pedestrian safety tips
One essential thing for pedestrians in the city to do is walk on the sidewalks. Walking in the traffic lanes is an almost sure recipe for disaster. You should only cross the street in a crosswalk when the signal tells you to go, especially on the busier roads. If there are no crosswalks, cross at intersections and not in the middle of a straightway.
Ensure that you are sober and easily visible when you walk. Wearing brightly colored clothing is beneficial, and adding something reflective to your clothing can help at night.
Never stop in the middle of the street for any reason. Don’t assume that a driver will see you. It is always best to wait a bit to cross safely than it is to get hit by a vehicle just because you wanted to rush. Of course, if you had the right of way and the driver hit you, you do have legal options to pursue.
Be prepared to deal with hazards as you walk. Streetcar lines require you to see if the vehicle is coming down tracks before you walk over them. Areas in and around the French Quarter have horse-drawn carriages for which you should provide an appropriate berth.
School routes for children
Children who walk or bike to school in Orleans Parish have the benefit of the Safe Routes to School program. One component is the partnership with the New Orleans Police Department, which provides training for community crossing guards in certain areas.
Parents can boost the safety of their children by reviewing the route they should take and discussing the safety points that will help them make it to school and back home again without issue.
Pedestrians do need to take an active role in keeping themselves safe by following applicable laws. When they are struck by a vehicle, they need to receive medical care because they can suffer from catastrophic injuries. The medical care they need, and possibly having to take off work, are costly. The victims of these incidents might decide to seek compensation for the damages they experience.