An important part of safe driving involves being well aware of your surroundings — from watching for road signs and lights to keeping tabs on who is driving behind and in front of you. Whenever you in residential or city streets, keeping an eye out for pedestrians should also be top of mind as you cruise from place to place.
A car-on-car collision can be fatal, so imagine if someone doesn’t have the barrier of a car or airbags. To put in perspective how many pedestrians die in traffic accidents, nearly every 88 minutes of 2017, a pedestrian died. To combat this statistic, there are ways drivers can be more cautious and walkers can take measures to preserve their safety.
Tips for drivers
The best thing to do as a driver is to understand the importance of always being alert, because pedestrians can walk alongside many roads, including those with sidewalks and those without. Drivers can do this by:
- Slowing down: There doesn’t have to be a crosswalk or stop sign in direct view for a driver to be more careful near pedestrians who share the road. Instead, once a driver spots a pedestrian, especially young children who don’t fully know the rules of the road, slowing down is an easy and safe way to cross paths.
- Respecting crosswalks: Drivers shouldn’t think of crosswalks as mere suggestions. Rather, they should slow down when they approach crosswalks and come to a complete stop when someone needs to cross the road.
- Cutting out distractions: It only takes seconds for a car accident to happen. So, driving should be a motorist’s main focus while behind the wheel — both on streets heavily frequented by walkers and those without designated sidewalks.
Tips for pedestrians
Although drivers hold a great responsibility to keep an eye out for less protected travelers, here are some way pedestrians can take precaution and increase visibility:
- Wait until a walk sign activates before crossing
- Double-check when crossing the road, even where there are stop signs and stoplights
- Wear bright clothes in the daytime and reflective gear at night
- Use designated paths and sidewalks whenever possible
Going from place-to-place shouldn’t have to be a death sentence, instead consider adding a little extra care into your commute.