Summer Pedestrian Accidents
At some point in one’s life, everyone is a pedestrian. However, on average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014). Injuries suffered in accidents include car accidents, road construction accidents and pedestrian vehicle collisions.
Pedestrian and bicycle safety has become a priority issue for the Department of Transportation. It has lead the Department to introduce initiatives to make roads safe for everyone.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) continuously work to raise awareness about the dangers to by moving vehicles. NHTSA provides some preventative measures to reduce pedestrian crashes.
Prepared Before Walking
A pedestrian should always wear clothes or materials that are visible to others whether its day or night. Bright color cloths help drivers slowdown from a distance. During the night, pedestrians should wear lights (white in front – red in the rear, just like a car). Before walking, plan a safe route. Walk near light traffics and where vehicles move at low speeds. If possible, the pedestrians should separate themselves from traffic and use the sidewalks, paths or barriers.
Know the Rules
A driver should know all the rules and regulations of the road. Following the rules and laws not only keeps the pedestrian safe but also the driver. Laws and regulations are made to create a system so pedestrians or drivers can safely share the road without the fear of an accident.
Rules for pedestrians are:
- To walk on the sidewalks, if there are no sidewalks, then walk as far to the left of the road and always face the traffic.
- Look in all direction for traffic before crossing a driveway or road.
- Cross in marked crosswalks, corners or at intersections. It can be inherently dangerous to disobey the law and walk past cars on a road.
- Obey pedestrian crossing signals.
- Always look left and right for traffic while crossing and be prepared to get out of the way if a driver doesn’t see you.
Look for Traffic
When walking on the same road as cars or crossing the road with traffic, expect others not to see you. It is possible that some drivers may be distracted while driving. Do not step on the road until the driver has come to a complete stop or when the driver has acknowledged your intent to cross the road with a nod, waive or eye contact.
Pedestrians should always stay focused and alert. There is a greater chance of injury for a pedestrian then a driver in an accident. While walking and especially while crossing the road, pedestrians should avoid texting, listening to music, or anything that that may cause the pedestrians attention to divert somewhere other than the road. Drivers should be given extra time to slow down and come to a complete stop before pedestrians begin walking. During poor weather (ice, snow, rain) and during low visibility (dusk, dawn, for or night) pedestrians should be extra alert. Just because you see others doesn’t mean they see you.
Know the causes of pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Being aware of the problem and the common types of crashes between pedestrians and vehicles can help pedestrians take causation to protect themselves.
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