The US Department of Transportation dubs October National Pedestrian Safety Month to help spread awareness and prevent pedestrian deaths. In 2020, there were 6,516 pedestrians killed and over 54,000 injured in traffic accidents, an increase from 2019. To help prevent a continual rise in incidents, it’s imperative to highlight National Pedestrian Safety Month and how to reduce unnecessary deaths. Here are some top tips to ensure everyone can cross the street safely.
Five Driver Safety Tips
One of the most critical aspects of pedestrian safety is the driver’s judgment. Drivers share the majority of the responsibility for preventing traffic deaths and injuries. They have the ability to create a safer walking environment. These are some of the ways drivers can keep the roads safe for every person crossing the road:
- Practice safe driving habits. Every driver should obey traffic laws, adhere to speed limits, and never drive under the influence. The driver should use extra caution in high pedestrian areas and populated streets.
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. People might walk in unexpected areas or the vehicle’s blind spot. It can be challenging for drivers to see pedestrians walking at night or during inclimate weather, so it’s important to take extra precautions.
- Stay alert. A distracted driver is incredibly hazardous and more likely to get into an accident. A distraction could be anything from talking on the phone, texting, eating, or putting on makeup. Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is considered a distraction. Staying alert allows the driver to always be aware of the road and stop immediately if a pedestrian crosses their path.
- Do not pass a stopped vehicle. A vehicle may be stopped for any reason, one being letting out a pedestrian. People might not always cross at a crosswalk, so it’s critical for the driver to avoid passing a stopped vehicle.
- Follow local pedestrian laws. The driver must know the state and local driving laws as they vary. However, regardless of the law, the driver should always stop for pedestrians wherever they cross.
Five Walking Safety Tips
Everyone, at one point, is a pedestrian. For some, it might be their primary method of transportation. Whether it’s to get to an appointment or just going for a brisk walk, pedestrians can help significantly reduce tragic accidents. Every pedestrian should:
- Follow all signs. Traffic signs aren’t just for vehicles; some apply to pedestrians. Along with the specific pedestrian signs, people should also be aware of the signs for drivers.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Always watch for vehicles backing up or entering entryways. It can be challenging to hear a car horn or one approaching if you’re listening to music too loud. Exercise more caution in busier areas.
- Use crosswalks. This is where drivers expect to see people crossing. Utilizing crosswalks and intersections is a great way to prevent accidents. When a crosswalk isn’t near, walk facing traffic and stay away from traffic.
- Never assume the driver sees you. In the unfortunate event that the driver is distracted or impaired, they might not see you, even when using the crosswalk. It’s best practice to make eye contact with the driver to guarantee they see you.
- Use good judgment. Avoid walking at night if possible. However, when walking at night, never wear dark colors and try to wear reflective gear. Abstain walking while impaired; it can cloud judgment.
Stay Safe with RRL
National Pedestrian Safety Month demonstrates a platform to address and educate our community on ways to protect ourselves. Although October is dedicated to this cause, we believe in spreading awareness year-round and creating a walking-friendly environment.
RRL Insurance is committed to promoting safe pedestrian and motorist behavior. Contact us today to learn more about our educational material, insurance products, and ways to implement driver safety.