5 Ways a Pedestrian Can Pay Better Attention to Their Surroundings

As a pedestrian, it’s in your best interest to pay attention to what’s going on when you’re walking through or near traffic—to help you avoid accidents that could threaten to injure or maim you. 

Here’s the thing about walking through traffic. 

Cars, in a lot of ways, are like self-propelled missiles.

They have the potential to do a lot of damage. 

Plus, as a pedestrian, you’re much less protected than the person driving a car. 

Therefore, the burden of staying safe will mostly fall onto your shoulders. 

Now, it goes without saying that you’ll want to make sure to have some great legal assistance in your back pocket, that can legally and financially protect you in case you were to ever get into some kind of accident. 

However, the best way to deal with this kind of problem is to try to avoid getting into any sort of pedestrian accident at all. 

And guess what? 

One of the best tools at your disposal for helping to accomplish this is to pay attention to your surroundings

So in this blog post, you’re going to learn 5 methods that pedestrians can use to pay better attention to their surroundings. 

Equipped with this information, you should be able to protect yourself from danger while also getting where you need to go safe and unharmed.

1. Avoid Wearing Earbuds

It’s really easy and convenient to slip your earbuds into your ears while you’re walking. 

This facilitates listening to music, listening to podcasts, listening to audiobooks, etc. 

And for the most part, you can probably get away with it without putting yourself into too much danger. 

But here’s the thing:

Earbuds completely eliminate one of the most important senses—your sense of hearing—which is a part of your natural defense system, allowing you to detect danger before it reaches you. 

If you’re walking in a particularly busy area of the city, at a particularly high traffic point in the day, it may be better to skip the earbuds and keep your ears trained on the surrounding area so that you can pick up on potential danger before it reaches you. 

2. Maintain A Higher Level Of Situational Awareness

Some people really zone out while they’re walking on the sidewalk, across crosswalks, and along streets. 

This is easy enough to do, but it also puts you at risk. 

Try not to zone out while you walk when you’re around traffic. 

Instead, try to maintain a higher level of awareness

Take stock of your surroundings every couple of minutes. 

Really make sure that you understand the layout of the land and any potential dangers that could exist in your area. 

This requires a bit more focus and brainpower—but it’s more than worth it in the safety you’ll create for yourself.

3. Make It A Habit To Watch And Listen For Things That Seem ‘Out Of The Ordinary’

Hearing screeching tires, honking horns, or people yelling could be a sign that there’s a motor vehicle mishap waiting to happen. 

On the same token, seeing a vehicle swerve in and out of traffic, run up on the curb, or veer completely out of control could be another sign that you should take cover and make sure that you’re out of harm’s way. 

Always pay attention and be aware of things that just don’t seem right. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

4. Understand That Accidents Can Happen In An Instant

Accidents can happen faster than most people ever realize. 

One minute, you could be walking along perfectly fine. Then, the next minute, you could be faced with a very dangerous motor vehicle accident situation where you may have to act quickly just to avoid danger by mere inches. 

It’s always a better idea to remember this sobering fact, rather than to forget about it. 

This can help you to keep your head in the game, and help to keep you safe as you travel. 

5. Avoid Being On Your Phone While Walking Through Traffic

When you walk from place to place, you may be tempted to check your social media, look at your messages, read your emails, etc. 

But here’s the thing. 

It’s really important to remember that this is just another distraction that could put you at risk for danger

It’s always a better idea to skip looking at your phone while you walk. 

Instead, keep your eyes on the road in front of you, and pay attention to your surroundings. 

You might be surprised at how much this thought process can do to protect you. 

Sure, it might be a little bit boring. But it’s definitely better to be bored and safe.


There you have it. 

Our five favorite ways that pedestrians can pay better attention to their surroundings. 

Equipped with this information, you can now navigate your daily walk with better safety outcomes in place. 


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