Walking is a great way to get exercise. Yet, walkers are facing increased risks and dangers every day. Pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents are increasing.
Distracted, inattentive and negligent drivers cause many accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to improve awareness. There are things drivers can do to protect them.
While technology continues to improve driver safety – other than increased driver awareness – little can be done to protect walkers. There are risks every time they go out. In a recent study, the NHTSA reported that over 6,000 pedestrians killed in one year in America.
It is everyone’s responsibility to share the road
Drivers and walkers both need to stay alert and pay attention. For drivers, that means stopping when a school bus has a stop arm extended. There are also greater pedestrian risks in crosswalks, in school zones and neighborhoods, and in bad weather.
Drivers should take extra measures to protect walkers
Drivers can take extra steps to protect walkers. Those steps include:
- Be aware of pedestrians. Pay extra attention at night, in bad weather and in school zones.
- Backing up. Be aware of everything around your car before you back up.
- Watch for pedestrians. Yield to walkers in crosswalks and high traffic areas.
- Obey traffic laws. There are slower posted speeds in school zones and neighborhoods for a reason.
- Reduce speeds. Slow down when walkers are in the area.
- Sober driving. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reported that pedestrian injuries and deaths continue to rise in the Bay Area and throughout California. Whether you are a walker or a driver, being alert and cautious can improve safety.