Summer is a magical time to be outside. The weather is nice, the sky is blue, and you can soak up the sun’s rays on a beautiful walk. But the rise of distracted driving continues to threaten pedestrians on America’s streets and sidewalks, so it’s important to be aware of some critical pedestrian safety tips, whether you’re walking or driving your car!
If Your Walking
The best way to avoid getting hurt by a moving vehicle is to cross only where a car is expecting to see you: the cross walk.
Designated crosswalks are marked so that cars know to look for pedestrians, so try hard to cross at these locations only.
If you can’t find a crosswalk, cross as safely as possible.
Don’t cross at a curve in a road; try to give oncoming cars as much time as possible to see you. Also, walk quickly! Use caution and move fast.
Look both ways
This tip is a classic for a reason.
Be sure you’re looking both ways before crossing the street, even if you’re crossing a one-way. Accidents happen, and just because you can’t hear any cars coming doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
Walk facing traffic
Using sidewalks are by far the best tactic you can take as a pedestrian, but if that’s not available be sure you’re walking towards oncoming traffic.
Sounds scary, we know, but it gives drivers more of a chance to see you and you to see them.
Look out for bikes
Pedestrians should also be aware of bikes! Road bikes can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour, and a bike crash can be really dangerous for a pedestrian.
Look both ways and obey traffic laws in bike lanes just as you would a vehicle lane, and remember that bikes are essentially a moving vehicle and should be treated as such.
If You’re Driving
A sudden glare makes it hard to see the road, and if you don’t have sun protection on you’re more likely to hit someone. Wear some shades to reduce the impact of a sudden glare on your driving skills!
Be mindful of kids
Kids are the wildcards of the road. You can’t be sure that they understand not to run into the street, so if you see kids or even teenagers take special care when driving past them. Decelerate and give driving your full attention in case they run into the road.
Don’t be distracted
As always, you should never be distracted while driving. This means no eating, texting, map application adjusting, arguing, or dance parties while you’re driving. Period.
Don’t speed in residential areas
Speeding is always dangerous, but it’s especially so in residential areas where there are pedestrians, pets, and kids riding around on the streets. Commonly, residential streets don’t have sidewalks, so even going 5 over the limit can be very dangerous.
Be alert and aware of pedestrians. After all, you’re in the ir neighborhood! Respect the speed limit.
Have an amazing summer and drive safe out there!
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