Categorized | Safety Info

Walk Safely – Pedestrian Safety Tips!

Posted on 29 January 2008 by Monica Zech

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Cross the street only at intersections. Do not jaywalk. Never run or dash into the street.

Use marked crosswalks where available. Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.

Stop at the curb and look left, right, and left again before you step into the street. Be sure to evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street to ensure that a vehicle has adequate distance in which to stop safely.

Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars. Drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block and you are more likely to be hit if you do this.

At intersections, scan over your shoulder for turning vehicles. Make eye contact with the driver of a stopped car while crossing in front or in back of it — making sure that the driver knows you are there. This is also important for cars that might be backing out of driveways.

Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets and continue to watch out for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk. Your life may depend on it, regardless of whether or not you have the right-of-way.

In foul weather (rain or snow), allow extra time and distance for a vehicle to stop. Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.

Remember, don’t take those “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” signs for granted. Always check for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb – motorists make mistakes too. Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets. Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

Always look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning), and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up.

Parents – Safety Tips For Children:

Children should not cross streets by themselves or be allowed to play or walk near traffic. Kids are small, unpredictable, and cannot judge vehicle distances and speeds.

Always hold your child’s hand. Never allow a child under 10 to cross the street alone.

Watch out for entrances to parking lots. Sidewalks often cross driveways and entrances to parking lots. Always check to see if a car is entering or exiting the parking lot.

Walk Signals:

If the intersection has a pedestrian signal, press the button and wait for the pedestrian signal to display the “WALK” indicator. The “WALK” signal indicates that it is safe for a pedestrian facing the signal to proceed across the roadway in that direction. Continue to be alert for traffic at all times, however, while in the roadway and always check for turning vehicles.

A flashing “DON’T WALK” signal means that a pedestrian should not start to cross the roadway in the direction of the indicator, once the “DON’T WALK” sign begins to flash. This indicates that there is probably not enough time left in the cycle for you to cross the street safely. However, any pedestrian who has partially completed their crossing should finish crossing the street or proceed to a safety island in the same direction in which they were headed.

A steadily illuminated “DON’T WALK” indicator means it is not safe for a pedestrian to enter the roadway in the direction of the indication. Pedestrians waiting to cross should wait for the next “WALK” signal in order to cross the street safely.

FOR MORE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS, VISIT THESE SITES:

Federal Highway Safety Administration Safety Tips

Walking Info.org

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Safety Tips

THINGS TO REMEMBER AS A DRIVER:

You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere – even in places where they are not supposed to be found.

Pedestrians can be very hard to see – especially in bad weather or at night. You must keep a lookout and slow down if you can’t see clearly.

Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even if it is not marked. When you stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, stop well back so that drivers in the other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.

Cars stopped in the street may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. Do not pass if there is any doubt!

Don’t assume that pedestrians see you or that they will act predictably. They may be physically or mentally impaired, unfamiliar with how to cross the street safely, or just not paying attention.

When you are turning, you often will have to wait for a “gap” in traffic. Beware while you are watching for that “gap,” that pedestrians may have moved into your intended path. Look to the right again to check that the crosswalk is clear, before proceeding to turn.

Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are present. Drive there like you would like people to drive in your own neighborhood!

Walk & Drive Safely – Be Alert!

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