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Tips for Driver and Pedestrian Safety During Summer Months

BY: Alex Perrone
A large group of pedestrians crossing in front of a row of cars at a New York City crosswalk.

With the summer in full swing, Americans are taking to the streets in cities and towns across the country to enjoy their favorite summertime activities. Whether they are going out for a summer drive, exploring on a long road trip or simply taking a walk around town, drivers and pedestrians alike are getting out and enjoying the hot weather and sunshine as much as possible.

However, after more than a year of being cooped up inside, knowing the proper safety tips to keep you and others safe while out on the road is key in helping to avoid any potentially dangerous accidents. That’s because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in traffic crashes. Because of statistics like this, promoting and educating the public on pedestrian and driver safety tips is a top priority for any community.

Tips for Drivers:driving on a pedestrian crossing

When you are out driving in the summer months, such as going to work, to an appointment or running an errand, you’re going to encounter people on foot a lot. Pedestrians can show up whenever and wherever – even in places where you think they shouldn’t be walking. People on foot can be difficult to see, particularly in darker weather and especially at night. Keep an eye out and slow down just when you have limited visibility.

As a motorist, you can stay alert for pedestrians around you when driving by:

  • Scanning the street and the sides of the street ahead for people on foot.
  • Looking for any foot traffic before making a turn.
  • Looking behind your vehicle for anyone who might be walking as you back up the vehicle, particularly little kids.
  • Keeping your windshield clean and making sure you have your headlights on when in cases of low visibility.
  • Avoiding using your cell phone, electronic devices or any other item that can distract you from the road.

Remember that pedestrians have the right of way at intersections. Regardless of whether there is a sign or a crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way. Do not stop on crosswalks if they are there.

If you are on a street with many people walking around, you should drive as slow as possible and minimize any risky maneuvers. Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped for people on foot, such as a bus. Obey speed limits, especially during school hours. Be sure to take extra care when driving around schools and neighborhoods with a lot of families & kids. You need to always be ready to stop for people out and about and when you get to a STOP sign, which means you need to always come to a full stop.

Tips for Pedestrians:crossing the road

Take Additional Care Around Evening Time and at Sunset.

Strolling around at night is a great way to enjoy the summertime without getting caught in the hot weather. However, this could increase your odds of being in an accident with a motorist. When out during the evening, wear light hues and retro-intelligent material or shoes. It likewise may be shrewd to convey an electric lamp in exceptionally dim regions.

Be Alert and Conspicuous.

No one is meant to walk around on interstates and in construction zones, so avoid walking in these areas as much as possible. If it is necessary to walk on an interstate due to an issue such as a tire blowout, be sure to wear highly visible clothing, such as bright colors or reflective materials similar to those you would wear when walking at night. Avoid jaywalking if you can by using sidewalks, walkways and crosswalks. If there are none of those, it is much safer to walk against the flow of traffic, allowing you to keep an eye on the vehicles coming towards you. However, you must still stay alert, especially on roads with speed limits above 15 mph.

Try Not to “Drink and Walk.”

If you’ve been out drinking, it is common sense to abstain from driving. However, you have also increased the chances of something happening to you if you’re just walking around. On the off chance that you’ve been drinking, take a taxicab or use public transportation if you are traveling far distances. Utilizing rideshare services or having a friend or family member drive/walk you home are the most effective ways to make sure you get home safe.

Give Appropriate Supervision and Precaution for Youngsters.

Kids generally do not have the life experience to use sound judgment when left unsupervised. They are also harder for motorists to see. Be sure to always supervise young children who are out near any road. Regularly discussing proper pedestrian safety tips with them can also help ensure they begin to learn how to stay safe when near traffic.

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