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How many times do you come across this? You are driving along the road and there is a person or even a group of people walking down the side of the road with their backs to the traffic flow.
I don't understand it. Isn't it obvious that you would walk facing oncoming traffic, (the right hand side of the road here in the UK), so that you have time to see and react to any other road users that are coming "toward you". This in turn gives both you and the driver/cyclist/horse rider etc a better chance to react and give each party room to pass safely, you cannot do this as easily when one of the parties involved has the back of their head to you.
I've even seen family groups adopt this dangerous practice risking not only their own health but that of their children too and they always seem surprised when a vehicle comes up behind them.
the risk is greatly reduced if you are facing the traffic
This seems to happen mainly in country areas where there is no footpath provided, and the situation isn't helped by those road users who treat country roads as their own private race tracks, put the two together, fast car/bike and a pedestrian on the wrong side of the road and you are asking for a disaster. If you find yourself walking along the road, then a high percentage of the risk is greatly reduced if you are facing the traffic that you are sharing common ground with. And drivers, slow down!
Yes, pedestrians should have the right of way but the roads are designed to be used by various forms of transport, so please give yourself and other road users the best possible chance when sharing the roads by walking on the correct side of the road.