As the weather cools down and more of us move outdoors, the number of pedestrians on or near the local roads increases. While pedestrians do need to take care and observe safety guidelines themselves, so do the drivers sharing the roads with them. Every seven minutes, a pedestrian is injured, and one is killed every two hours. Drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and vigilantly to keep pedestrians from harm; and as such, many of these fatalities could have been avoided. Drivers exercising caution and extending some common courtesies can help prevent future auto pedestrian accidents. The following tips should help drivers share the road safely with bikers, walkers, joggers, and other pedestrians.
Eight Safety Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road with Pedestrians
In any car versus pedestrian encounter, the car will fare much better than the person, so drivers need to be vigilant and take responsibility for others’ safety. Additionally, drivers should review and adhere to the following safety tips:
- Look for pedestrians everywhere: Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially in areas where you know they may be present, such as in heavy urban areas and near parks or schools. Be aware that pedestrians may walk outside of crosswalks and cyclists may share the roadway.
- Follow pedestrian safety laws: There are several pedestrian signs and signals drivers need to be aware of and use to yield right of way to pedestrians. Signs indicating to watch for pedestrians, to travel only in one way, stop, or yield should be observed.
- Watch out for children: Stay alert in school zones and neighborhoods likely to have child pedestrians.
- Abide by posted speed limits: Always follow the speed limit, especially when you’re in an area with pedestrian traffic. Take care to follow posted school zone speed limits and crosswalks.
- Avoid distractions: Driver inattention is one of the top factors causing auto pedestrian crashes. Drivers should not text or talk on the phone while driving. You’re much less likely to notice a pedestrian crossing up ahead or just around the corner if you’re using your phone, changing the radio station, or talking to someone in the back seat. Avoid engaging in distractions and wait until you’ve reached your destination or pulled over to take care of these tasks.
- Yield the right of way: Reduce your speed when approaching crosswalks and always stop for pedestrians. Generally, drivers must give pedestrians the right-of-way when they are crossing at intersections, regardless of whether there is a marked crosswalk. A lot of accidents occur when drivers are turning onto another street. Drivers must always remain alert and remember that pedestrians are out there.
- Stopped vehicles: Take extra care when you come upon a stopped vehicle – especially a school bus. Sometimes vehicles are stopped to let pedestrians walk by, so it is always a good idea to double check the area around the stopped vehicle.
- Obstructed views: Drivers are reminded to turn on vehicle headlights at dusk and be vigilant in looking out for cyclists and pedestrians. Forgetting to turn on headlights is one of the most common mistakes that even the most experienced drivers make.
Additional information: read more pedestrian safety tips and resources from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Texas Pedestrian Injury Lawyer
A pedestrian accident can lead to ongoing challenges and difficulties. Traumatic brain injuries and fractures can result in long hospital stays and require extensive medical care. You may not be able to work and support yourself and your family. Our experienced and highly capable Texas personal injury attorney will fight for you to achieve compensation for both your immediate and long-term needs. Contact John Flood Trial Lawyers today for more information on how we can help.