You step out of the casino in Biloxi, and traffic is everywhere. You're not the only one heading home for the night. You knew you may have a few drinks, so you simply walked from your hotel or Airbnb rental, but a lot of other people start getting in their cars and leaving the parking lot.
It instantly strikes you as a potentially dangerous situation. What if you get hit by a car while walking back? You know that pedestrian accidents carry an incredibly high risk of serious injuries. Even when traffic is moving relatively slowly, the accident could prove fatal. How do you protect yourself?
Here are a few tips that can help:
Do not get distracted
Expect drivers to make mistakes. Stay off of your phone. If you talk to the people walking with you, don't look at them -- keep your eyes on the traffic around you. Remain alert at all times. Of course, there's no legal obligation for you to avoid others' mistakes, but staying alert can keep you out of the hospital.
Wear bright clothes
This is especially true at night. You may even want to invest in a light jacket with reflective strips on it, similar to those worn by highway work crews and bikers. The last thing you want is a dark jacket that blends into the night and the pavement. Make it as easy as possible for drivers to pick you out after the sun goes down.
Just having one drink with dinner probably does not put you at risk, but a lot of pedestrian accidents happen after pedestrians drink heavily. They do not see obvious hazards and they make mistakes. It is wise to walk so that you can avoid drinking and driving, but that does not mean drinking and walking is without its own risks. Your best bet is to stay sober, alert and aware.
Pick safe zones for walking
Stay as far from traffic as you can. If there is a sidewalk, use it instead of walking on the shoulder. If you have to cross the street, look for a crosswalk. Follow all of the traffic signals and only cross roads when you have the light. Even when you do, still take your time and look both ways for oncoming traffic. If you work hard to walk where drivers expect you to be, it is less likely that you will get hit.
Your rights after an accident
While these tips can help keep you safe, accidents do happen. This is especially true around casinos and other areas with high amounts of nighttime traffic -- and, potentially, with drunk or buzzed drivers. If you do get hit, make sure you fully understand all of your legal rights.