Anyone who lives in Los Angeles or a similar crowded city understands that there are certain unspoken etiquette rules all pedestrians should follow. Doing so doesn’t just ensure that pedestrians don’t get in the way of one another. Following these rules can also potentially reduce one’s chances of causing an accident or being involved in one.
Los Angeles pedestrian etiquette guidelines that may keep you and others safe include:
Walk in Single File
If you’re walking with a few friends or family members, you may feel the impulse to walk together in an essentially horizontal line. While this may facilitate easier communication among all members of the group, it’s not exactly courteous, as these groups tend to take up large portions of the sidewalk.
Choosing to walk single file is often the better option. Doing so isn’t just more polite. Walking single file can also reduce one’s chances of being harmed in an accident when walking in a busy or potentially hazardous area, such as a construction zone.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Pedestrian etiquette doesn’t need to be complicated!
(Although, if you’ve ever lived in a major city, you know too well there are some people who just can’t seem to grasp this concept.)
To courteously navigate a busy city like Los Angeles on foot, all you have to do is follow the same basic rules that you would when driving. This involves staying to the right for the most part, not walking slowly in the “left lane” of the sidewalk when there are people behind you trying to pass, and not entering an intersection until you know you have the right of way.
That last point is very important in regard to your personal safety. If you use crosswalks properly and make eye contact with drivers before entering them, you could minimize your chances of being injured in an avoidable accident.
Don’t Walk With Your Phone
It doesn’t matter what you’re using it for, whether it be checking your email, following directions on a map, texting a friend, or even simply having a conversation. If you’re using your phone when walking around a busy city, you’re more likely to be distracted. The less aware you are of your surroundings, the greater the odds you will overlook the various ways in which you could be an inconvenience to your fellow pedestrians and nearby motorists.
At the very least, if you’re focusing on your phone instead of your surroundings, you might bump into someone unexpectedly. More significantly, you could accidentally walk out into traffic, overlook a potentially hazardous obstruction, etc.
This doesn’t mean you can never look at your phone while on-the-go. It simply means you should stop and find a safe place to do so to avoid walking and using your phone at the same time.
All that said, even if you follow the tips here, it’s still possible you may one day be harmed in a pedestrian accident resulting from the negligence of another party. You may be eligible for financial compensation if this ever happens.