What's the main issue?
Road safety doesn’t just apply to drivers. The people on the road who travel by foot, stroller, wheelchair, etc -- the pedestrians-- are the most susceptible to road-related injuries and accidents. Research shows that on average, 430 pedestrians are taken to hospitals for traffic-related trauma every day. Moreover, it's expected that in the next 2 hours, one pedestrian will succumb to a fatal traffic accident. So the issue is that pedestrians are highly vulnerable to injuries even when they’re just crossing the road. With such high numbers of accidents and incidents, it's vital that all drivers understand the risks and learn about proper road safety so that they are able to keep themselves and their community members safe.
Why is it your responsibility?
Pedestrians are also responsible to be aware and keep themselves safe, however, they are in a more vulnerable position than you drivers which makes it even more crucial for you to make sure that you drive safely. Also, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash.
Steps to take for Safety
In order to make sure that you drive safely, here are some tips to follow:
Be alert and aware
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings when you drive and keep an eye out for pedestrians all the time. More often than not, pedestrians— especially younger ones— are not where they should be or where you would expect them to be. To be completely alert follow the cliche phrase, both eyes on the road, because it is one of the basic rules any driver should follow. This means that while driving you should absolutely not be using your phone for any purpose. No texting, chatting or checking your phone while you’re controlling the wheel. Your attention must be 100% on the road ahead and driving safely.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Alcohol and drugs alter your state of mind, often rendering you incapable of being able to drive properly and making good decisions. Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can hurt not only you, but innocent pedestrians so if you’re going to be driving remember to avoid any hard drinks or select one member of your group to be the designated driver.
Follow speed limits and slow down in residential or pedestrian-dense areas
Some areas like where there are schools, homes or parks are places where the pedestrian density is quite high, so this means you must be extra alert and slow down. Drivers may not be able to identify all pedestrians especially small children, which can be very dangerous. Remember to drive within the speed limit at all times, because that limit has been determined for both your and the pedestrian safety. Even when you don't see pedestrians around, anticipate the unexpected in pedestrians areas. This little bit of anticipation can save a life and prevent an accident.
Zebra crossings and intersections
Zebra crossings are where the pedestrian have the rite of passage, so when you approach a crosswalk, you must slow down and prepare to stop. There must be enough space at the crosswalk for the pedestrians to pass. Even when crosswalks aren’t market, road intersections are often perceived as crosswalks so you should visualize that there is a crosswalk and nearly all intersections. Be vigilant and make the assumption that people may cross so that everyone remains safe.
Sometimes in bad weather, when it's raining or snowing, it's hard for drivers to see pedestrians and vice versa. This can also happen in poorly lit areas where there aren't enough street lamps. When in such conditions remember to drive slower and turn on your headlights for maximum visibility. Also, use all your signals clearly, so that other cars and pedestrians know what you’re going to do and they can also steer clear of your path. You must make sure that all your lights and signals are properly functioning and used appropriately.
Do you have any suggestions for pedestrian safety?