Though the notion that the pedestrian always has the right of way is a good rule of thumb for drivers, this does not mean that you can be negligent while walking. As an Illinois pedestrian, you also play a role in traffic safety. Here are a few guidelines to stay safe when you are afoot.
According to the Secretary of State’s 2017 Rules of the Road, you should use pedestrian crosswalks, tunnels or crossing bridges whenever they are available. If you need to cross the road at a point without a crosswalk, you should yield to automotive traffic.
If the area where you are walking has no sidewalk, try to stay on the shoulder. If there is no shoulder and you must walk on the roadway, stay as far out of the vehicle lane as possible. It is generally a good policy to face oncoming traffic to ensure that you are aware of any vehicle that is approaching. It is worth noting that skating is permitted on public roads where speed limits are less than 45 miles per hour.
For your safety, you should avoid walking on the road while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are standing on the roadway in the hopes of hitching a ride, you should keep in mind that hitchhiking is illegal in Illinois.
For nighttime strolls, it is important that you make yourself as visible as possible to drivers by wearing reflective gear. For your own protection, you also should avoid poorly lit areas.
Last but not least, it is important for pedestrians to acknowledge any barriers, such as bridge gates. In general, common sense is key to staying safe while on foot.
This advice is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.