With the arrival of spring, drivers will be seeing more pedestrians out and about.  Both drivers and pedestrians alike should exercise extra caution while in proximity to each other because of the potentially devastating injuries that motor vehicles can cause to pedestrians.  Even low speed pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries for pedestrians.

Both pedestrians and drivers alike, must take responsibility for the safety of those around them and should always exercise care even when they are afforded the legal right of way.  Taking a moment to review a few safety tips with regard to pedestrians and motor vehicles can help keep everyone safe as we move into the warmer months.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians:

  • Pedestrians should always be aware of visibility, which will affect drivers’ ability to see them.  If weather or lighting is poor, they should wear bright color clothing or reflective materials.
  • Before crossing a street, pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings and stand clear of objects such as parked cars, busses, trucks, large hedges, etc., that may prevent drivers from seeing them.  Obviously, pedestrians should not dart out into traffic or suddenly leave the curb while a vehicle is approaching so that it is impossible for the vehicle to stop
  • Pedestrians must follow and abide by traffic signals, such as traffic lights.  This means pedestrians should not cross against a red light or “Don’t Walk” sign, nor should they proceed to cross without stopping where a stop sign is present.  If pedestrians have the green light or the “Walk” sign, they should watch out for right and left turning vehicles.
  • Pedestrians should only cross the street at marked cross walks, or at intersection corners where there are no designated crosswalks. Crossing the road at any other place increases the chance of being hit by a motor vehicle.  Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk, or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk, must yield to the right of way to all vehicles on the road.
  • Where available, pedestrians should use sidewalks, rather than walk on the roadway.  If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk on the left hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.  This will allow them to see any oncoming traffic.

Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Drivers are required to stop for crossing pedestrians at all intersections, even in the absence of crosswalks or traffic control signals.  Drivers should wait to proceed until the crossing pedestrian has entirely passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.
  • Drivers should be aware of their speed and in residential areas, or near schools, they should watch for children playing nearby, who are more likely to dart into the roadway.
  • Drivers should check for crossing pedestrians before turning right or left.
  • When exiting an alley or driveway, a driver should stop before crossing the sidewalk to make sure no pedestrians are nearby.
  • If a driver sees pedestrians nearby, they should automatically reduce their speed.  Even if they have the right of way, slowing down will help prevent accidents that are the result of pedestrians suddenly entering the roadway.

 

Following these simple tips can help reduce the number of motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents.  If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle-pedestrian accident, call Nelson Personal Injury today for a free consultation.