If you walk near to motor vehicles, you're an "Other Road User" (ORU). In fact, you're a "Vulnerable Road User" (VRU).
You don't have to walk on the same level as the motor vehicles. The pavement is part of the road, because it's part of the public highway.
You don't have to read all the traffic signs and markings to move about. But it will help you, as they'll tell you what others are likely to do.
Safe places to cross the road are particularly worth knowing about, so it pays to be able to identify them and notice how they "work".
More basic, be aware of how you dress and behave (especially when it's dark or rainy). It will keep you visible to people in charge of heavy, fast-moving mechanical stuff that could squash you. That stuff is just cars and trucks, controlled by people sometimes tired, hungry, or distracted ... just like we can be !