Both drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others on the road safe. “Distracted walking” is a newer phenomenon among pedestrians and can cause a major accident, or even a fatality when a pedestrian is paying more attention to a device in their hand than the sidewalk and streets in front of them.
According to the CDC, in 2012 over 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the U.S., with another 76,000 injured. This means a pedestrian-related injury occurs once every 7 minutes! Most of these accidents are alcohol-related, or occur in urban areas where many people travel on foot, often at night.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers
Drivers should learn some pedestrian safety tips to help avoid these types of accidents from occurring. Here are a few things drivers should do in particularly pedestrian-heavy areas:
Slow down. It might seem like common sense to slow down in areas where there are a lot of pedestrians, but some of today’s drivers tend to be in a hurry and forget to proceed with caution. Follow the speed limit, especially when in school zones. Remember that it can be difficult to see all pedestrians, especially when they are small children or in your blind spot.
Be alert. Remember that when you’re behind the wheel, you have an increased responsibility for others on the road- including pedestrians. Watch out for them at all times, especially children, who are not always where you would expect them to be. Even if there is no crosswalk at an intersection, assume pedestrians may walk in front of your car, regardless.
Make eye contact. Making eye contact with a pedestrian helps ensure that he or she has seen you and is aware of your presence behind the wheel.
Expect the unexpected. When it comes to driving among pedestrians, it’s always best to anticipate the unexpected. Children can sometimes dart out into traffic after a ball or toy, or an adult might be hustling to get across the street right before the light changes. When you’re backing out of a driveway in your neighborhood, pull out slowly and watch for pedestrians in your mirrors.
DriveTeam wants to help ensure that drivers of all ages are practicing safe driving on the road. We offer corporate driving training and teen driving classes so drivers are confident and keeping everyone sharing the road as safe as possible. Contact us for more information.