When walking across a street...

…if traffic is approaching which will have to stop as you pass, do you change your pace to either speed up or slow down?

Do you make eye contact with or otherwise acknowledge the approaching car?

Does it matter whether or not you are in a marked crosswalk?

While I generally will not run (unless crossing a very busy street outside of a crosswalk), I will generally make eye contact with the approaching/stopped vehicles, maybe give a little wave, and most likely will move a little more quickly than my usual pace - even if I am in a crosswalk. I will especially do so if traffic is heavy and multiple cars are stopped.

I’m surprised at the number of pedestrians I encounter who seem to not even look to check for traffic, and then slowly saunter across the street. Are you such a person? I’m curious what you are thinking as you do so.

In our town, there is one particular crosswalk where a recreational path crosses a main street. There is a button to push to activate flashing lights. Pedestrians/cyclists clearly have the right of way. I’ve passed that intersection walking/driving/and biking, at all hours of the day/night. While I don’t hesitate to activate the lights, I make sure I’m not delaying traffic anymore than necessary during rush hour. But my perceptions are not limited to this single intersection.

I always make eye contact - it’s the only way to be somewhat sure that I’m seen. And I will try to move a little faster if I can.

Small town resident here. I actually avoid crosswalks, since cars respond to them unpredictably around here. I look for a break in traffic flow and dart across the road. No eye contact, no head nod, no waving, just dart.

I try to be a considerate pedestrian. For example, if a car is going into its turn, I’ll wait and wave him through rather than make him stop a 2,000+ pound machine. It only takes a second or two for him to get through, so why be a bitch about it? Also, if I’m crossing late in the light cycle and it is starting to change, I’ll trot the rest of the way across so as not to cost them any time. I see pedestrians all the time who have the opposite attitude.

Ha - similar views from a fellow Chicagolander, where kids are taught to jaywalk as soon as they can walk! :smiley:

Similar to what you describe, yesterday eve my wife and I were walking the dog. When we started across a street a car was making a turn. Since we were both aware of each other, my wife and I stopped and signalled him to continue his turn in front of us. Just always surprises me when folk seem to saunter across streets, seemingly either oblivious to traffic, or possibly glorying in being able to inconvenience others.

I try to be a considerate pedestrian. I walk briskly across the road if at traffic lights or cars have stopped at a crossing. If I am approaching a crossing at the same time as a car I will generally dawdle and encourage the car to go first. A surprising number of drivers pull up anyway when they could have clearly just cruised through the crossing. If I am on a crossing and a car appears around a corner, I will hustle across if I can get out of the way and allow him to not come to a full stop.

I basically just try to avoid doing all the annoying things that pedestrians sometimes do when I am driving.

See, this is why I avoid crosswalks. People with the right of way ceding it to be nice, sometimes creating an ambiguous situation. I’d rather people with the right of way use it in an efficient manner.

I generally try to disrupt traffic as little as I can. If someone sees me approaching the crosswalk and slows down way before I get there, I’ll basically run across the street so they can continue on their day. Same if there’s a light ahead of them that’s green that they might still catch. I also wave to thank people for stopping or slowing.

If drivers don’t look like they are slowing appropriately, I may slow down and brace myself for the possibility that I will need to jump on their hood rather than be mowed over. One person nearly struck me and my dog while I was in a cross walk. I stood in the crosswalk for the entirety of a light cycle yelling that them with my dog on their hood barking. I’m sure that driver at least remembered that encounter.

I don’t think “making eye contact” is a real thing most of the time. Cars are generally too far away and the glare from the windshield is too great to make eye contact. I can barely tell who is driving most of the time, let alone discern whether they are looking at me. In reality, what I’m judging is whether they are slowing or turning to avoid me. You can discern a slowing car visually and by the change in pitch as it approaches.

I live in a conservative rural community … I run across streets … makes it harder to keep the gunsights lined up …

I, also, try to be a considerate pedestrian - speeding my pace if necessary, acknowledging with a nod or wave drivers who let me cross, crossing at appropriate times/places. I seem to see, more and more often, pedestrians who flout every “rule” - crossing at inappropriate places, never looking to or acknowledging traffic, "loitering in the middle lanes - seemingly taking the attitude “Hit me, I don’t care”. I don’t get it, are they clueless, looking for a lawsuit or just plain entitled?

A couple of days ago, I was driving down the street as I approached a crosswalk (from about a block away). The person at the edge of the crosswalk waited until I approached, came to a full stop and signally furiously that they should cross, before actually making their way across the street. (I was tempted to ask them if they needed a formal invitation to cross the street.) Had they just crossed the street immediately, they would have been done without before I got there, so I wouldn’t have even needed to slow down.

If I’m at a crossing type where traffic is expected to stop for me to cross, I try to ensure that I am confident they will indeed stop, before I step out.

If I am crossing the road anywhere else, I will wait until there is a gap in the traffic that allows me ample opportunity to get safely across without causing drivers to brake.

This is exactly what I do as well.

Maybe not eye contact, but I watch wheels. Not cars, but wheels and what they’re doing.

Back when I did a LOT of biking, eye contact was my Rule #1 when dealing with traffic.

I did the exact opposite after the time I was hit by a car on my bicycle. We were on a two lane street going in opposite directions. I had made eye contact and the driver made a left turn directly into me. His explanation was “I knew you had seen me and figured you would stop.”

Since then I carefully watch all vehicles but avoid eye contact. My aim is to see every motor vehicle but never to let the other driver know I’ve seen him.

I only have right of way if I’m actually IN the crosswalk. If I’m standing on the sidewalk next to the crosswalk, I don’t have right of way. But to many pedestrians (as well as drivers) are erratic. If I stay off the road, I’m not triggering my right of way. And to let the drivers know that I’m not planning on darting in front of their car, I wave them past. I’m not ceding my right of way, I’m acknowledging that I’m not triggering it.

It’s interesting what folks are saying about eye contact - I don’t think I’ve ever felt that it was possible to make eye contact with a person in a moving vehicle - for the same reason, I never acknowledge friendly sounding of horns from passing vehicles (i.e. if a friend is driving past) - by the time I have locked eyes on the driver, they’re gone. Maybe I’m just not very good at locking sight on moving targets.

I was told, and have followed the advice of, making eye contact doesn’t mean anything. You are making eye contact but you don’t know if they are looking through you or at you. One can’t tell if the person is actually looking right at you or near you, especially from any kind of real distance.

“…if traffic is approaching which will have to stop as you pass, do you change your pace to either speed up or slow down?”
Neither. If my flesh is going to conflict with the path of a car, I delay the mission until the threat has passed. I can’t think of many instances where a pedestrian does not bear a significant amount of fault when they get run over. Right of way, crosswalk, other situations where one is assured they can expect safety–that’s all BS. If a car EVER has the right to be someplace, you walk that same piece of ground at your peril. You can be right all the way to the morgue if you want, but that ain’t how I’m going out.

The protected areas in front of Wall*Mart front doors is having the effect of teaching many people that they automatically have the right of way so they don’t even look in places that they should.