Drivers are responsible for controlling the vehicles they drive at all times. Pedestrians must also remain alert and take precautions when they are moving in and around traffic. Here are four tips to help pedestrians take safer steps.
1. Use crosswalks
The majority of vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur in the roadway. In Louisville and in southeastern Indiana, crosswalk accidents in which a vehicle strikes a pedestrian are common occurrences. Motorists often take the view that someone on foot should not be entering a crosswalk when a vehicle is approaching. However, statistics show that pedestrians should always use crosswalks. Doing so greatly reduces the chance of a vehicle-pedestrian collision.
2. Watch for cars turning left
More pedestrians are struck by drivers who are turning left than are turning right. This is because those involved are not looking at each other. The pedestrian who is crossing the street is looking straight ahead while the motorist is focusing on getting through the intersection. Pedestrians have to look carefully at what is going on around them before crossing the street.
3. Look for quiet cars
Hybrids and battery-operated cars are so quiet that many people on foot do not hear them coming. In fact, data collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows that these cars are 40 percent more likely to hit people on foot than “noisy” cars. Pedestrians must always look to see what is happening around them. Safety depends on more than listening.
4. Stow your cellphone
Every now and then, we hear about a bizarre accident involving a pedestrian who was using a cellphone. A pedestrian who is talking on a cellphone or looking at an email while walking can step right off a curb and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Safety here is adhering to a simple rule: Stow your cellphone until you reach your destination.
By the numbers
The NHTSA reports that in 2015, almost 15 pedestrians were killed every day that year; the total was 5,376 pedestrian fatalities. Whether you spend a great deal of time on foot or only get out and about occasionally, you do not want to become a statistic. Exercise caution and common sense when you are near traffic and have a nice walk.