1. Walk Facing Traffic When On The Road: In America at least (I don't know how they do it in the UK) we drive on the right hand side of the road but walk facing traffic on the left side. This rule does not apply to bicycles, which are vehicles and ride on the right side of the road. Walking while facing traffic is a good idea, as if you see a car coming toward you, you can step aside and avoid being hit - that is the idea, anyway.
2. Keep Right, Elsewhere: When not on a roadway, however, most people walk on the right - just as we drive. And in fact, on most bike paths, there is a sign to this effect - both bicycles and pedestrians keep to the right, with bicycles overtaking pedestrians on the left. The same is true on escalators and moving walkways. You keep right and let people pass on the left - they put up signs saying this, but few read them. In corridors and on sidewalks, it is also a good rule - and most people seem to follow this instinctively. Walk on the left and you are constantly plowing into people.
3. Face Your Direction of Travel: Walking backwards or sideways is a sure way to collide with others, or fall down an open stairway. And yet, I see many people do this. Two secretaries coming back from lunch are talking. One turns to take the elevator, and the other continues the conversation with her friend by walking away, backwards, raising her voice as they separate in distance. I guess she wants to continue the conversation and get where she is going, so she walks backwards. It is like texting-while-driving. Take your eyes off the road and you run into things. And inevitably, the backwards or sideways walker plows into somebody or some thing (parking meters are a bitch!). Just watch where you are going, and if you want to chat, then stop and chat. Stop trying to multitask!
4. Cross Roads at a 90 Degree Angle: I touched on this before - people want to cross a busy road to get to their car, and decide the quickest way is to cross at an oblique angle of 45 degrees or less. In some ridiculous circumstances (that I have seen!) the person ends up walking down the road for nearly a quarter-mile, most of the time in the center of the roadway, oblivious to the cars lined up behind them, gunning their engines. Not only does this inconvenience other people, it is downright unsafe. Cross perpendicular to the road and limit the amount of time you are in the road. Then change direction and walk toward your car. It may take a little longer, but it is far safer as you spend less time in the roadway.
5. Walking Abreast: We all like to walk and talk, and a long walk with a friend in conversation is a great thing. But on a busy street or sidewalk or bike path or corridor, it is not only rude, but dangerous and inconvenient. When you walk abreast, you block the path for others - people coming the other way and people wanting to pass you. It is akin to riding the left lane in your car, never passing that truck in the center lane. It is rude and inconvenient. If you are walking abreast and see people ahead of you or behind you, move to single-file until they pass. And if you are walking in the road, go to single-file or get off the road - or you might get killed. And yes, I see people, often with kids, walking two, three, or four abreast in the roadway, expecting motorists to stop and follow them at a walking pace. It is madness.
6. Choke Points: This is more of a standing than walking issue, but for some reason, it is human nature to stand at a "choke point" in a corridor, sidewalk, or entryway. They say that at any house party, everybody always ends up in the kitchen. I would amend that to say, everybody always ends up blocking the kitchen doorway. For some reason that I cannot fathom, it is in our nature to stand and chat at the one part of the hallway that is constricted, or is an entryway or doorway. In the grocery store, two people decide to chat right where the store decided to drop a mid-aisle display, so that their carts and bodies block further movement. Ditto for parking shopping carts - it is instinct, I guess, to park them in the narrowest part of the aisle. Never park yourself a the choke point - it is rude.
7. Baby Buffer: Using your stroller as on offensive weapon is distasteful on a number of levels. Your baby is in there for starters, so when you decide to ram people with your stroller, you are using your child as a human shield. And nowhere is this more true than at crosswalks. I've seen, over and over again, Mothers and Fathers thrust their strollers - with children inside - right into the path of oncoming cars, in order to make the car stop so they can cross. The lives of their children are apparently secondary to their need to get somewhere. It is a variation of the "I have a baby, ergo I am special" mentality. Your baby is indeed special, you, on the other hand, aren't.
8. Use the Sidewalk: When there is a sidewalk, walkway, bike path, or other type of walking path that parallels the main road, use it. For some reason, there are folks who think that the sidewalk is not for them, and insist on walking in the road, often with traffic instead of facing it. When it comes down to you versus a 4,000 lb car, the car always wins. So I am not sure why people do this, other than to be annoying or because they have a death wish. I've seen people walking in the road, with traffic, eschewing the sidewalk a mere feet away, and then suddenly move into the front of a speeding car, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Trying prove a point? Or maybe it is just Darwin culling the herd? For whatever reason, I simply don't get it.