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Summer Pedestrian Safety
Keep Pedestrian Safety in Mind This Summer with These Driving Tips
The warm temperatures and bright sun of spring and summer bring more children and pedestrians outside to enjoy outdoor activities. Activities like bicycling, sports, and playing on the playground bring kids and adults alike close to residential and city streets, making it important to drive with pedestrians in mind.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, approximately 4,600 pedestrians are killed in traffic-related incidents every year, accounting for 11% of traffic fatalities. In addition, approximately 70,000 pedestrians are injured annually in roadway accidents. Drivers need to remain watchful for pedestrians as they transport members to and from appointments. The following safe driving tips will help keep pedestrians, as well as drivers and passengers, safe at all times:
- Watch for pedestrians constantly. You should be looking 15 seconds ahead of your vehicle (about 650 feet, or one and a half city blocks), and scanning sidewalk to sidewalk.
- If children are playing near or on the street, use extreme caution. Reduce speed and be prepared to stop quickly. Children are unpredictable and may dart in front of a vehicle unexpectedly.
- Use caution when driving near older adults who may not see or hear a vehicle approaching.
- Don’t count on pedestrians to obey traffic signals. Even if a signal says “Don’t Walk,” don’t expect all pedestrians to stop. Use caution before proceeding.
- Double check for walkers and bike riders in your rearview mirror before reversing.
- Use caution when approaching and traveling through intersections. Intersections are one of the most dangerous places for your and your vehicle to be. Always look left, right, and left again before proceeding through the intersection.
- When making a turn at an intersection, use the “Rock and Roll” method of seeing around windshield posts or other distractions.
- Expect the unexpected from bicyclists. Children and inexperienced riders can be unpredictable while riding, so give them the appropriate right-of-way space in traffic.
- Check for bicycle riders before opening vehicle doors. You never know when a bicyclist may be next to the door.
- Allow bicyclists adequate room when passing. Speed should be reduced, and at least three feet of passing space should be given. Look completely over your shoulder for the rider when moving back into your lane.
- Be on the lookout for reflective materials at night. This is the easiest way to identify pedestrians on the road when it is dark.
Pedestrian safety is as important as member safety. Stay alert while driving this season and always be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Happy driving, happy summer!