How to Assess Walking Safety in Your Neighborhood

Pedestrians are referred to as vulnerable road users in Alaska because they are more likely to sustain fatal or catastrophic injuries in an accident. Knowing this, people who walk for fun or exercise often look for safe places to stroll. Parks and outdoor recreational areas around Anchorage offer miles of walking trails, but many walkers prefer to stick closer to home. If you are one of them, you should check out a helpful guide published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The Walkability Checklist. By going down items on the list, you can assess how safe it is for you and your children to head out on foot around your neighborhood.

The Walkability Checklist also provides useful tips on what to do if factors make your area somewhat risky for Alaska pedestrian accidents. You can enjoy your walk while still staying safe when you take the following information into account.

Space for Walking

With this factor, you are looking at whether there is enough room between your body and the motorized vehicles sharing the road. When there are no sidewalks or shoulders along the road, walkers are in close proximity to a massive, speeding object. If sidewalks are blocked or broken, a pedestrian might need to step into the road to pass. Your neighborhood’s walkability score is lower if space is limited.


Safety at Crossings

As you travel through your community, note the traffic signals, signage, and other controls in place to protect pedestrians. Your neighborhood would get higher safety marks if:

  • All intersections have Walk and Don’t Walk signs.
  • Parked cars are far enough away from the crossing that you can see moving traffic.
  • Crosswalks are well-marked or – even better – managed by crossing guards.

Ease of Following Traffic Laws

These laws apply to all road users, and they exist to protect against accidents. Unfortunately, in some Anchorage neighborhoods, it can be difficult to comply with the regulations intended for your safety. Some questions to consider include the following:

  • Were you visible to motorized vehicles while crossing an intersection?
  • Where there is no sidewalk, can you easily and safely walk on the shoulder?
  • Are all traffic signals in working order?


Driver Attitudes

Even without speaking to them, you can assess whether motorists have the safety of people on foot in mind. Speeding, rolling through stop signs and red lights, and failing to use a turn signal are red flags. If you notice that drivers frequently accelerate to make it through a yellow light, you might consider another route.

Speak to an Alaska Pedestrian Accident Lawyer About Filing a Claim

Even when you plan ahead and take extra safety precautions, negligent drivers still present a significant risk of harm to people on foot. For information about your legal remedies and steps for recovering compensation, please contact Power & Power Law. You can set up a free case evaluation by calling our Anchorage offices at 907-222-9990 or going online. A pedestrian accident attorney can advise you on details after learning about your situation.