How to Avoid Pedestrian/Vehicle Accidents
After months of cold, snow, wind and rain, the local Homo Sapien population has emerged from hibernation and is being seen, with increasing frequency, in and around our streets and roads. Yes, once again, the warm, sunny weather has coaxed people out of the woodwork. And as refreshing as it can be to see human activity again, it can take a little getting used to. While there is no comprehensive list to avoid every possible accident scenario, there is a whole lot you can do, as a driver, to reduce a devastating road event. So, here’s a common sense guide to help you avoid a potentially life-threatening collision.
- Do a Vehicle Safety Check. Ensure your brakes, steering, lights, tires, wipers and horn are all in excellent working condition before you venture out. Make sure all windows and signal lights are clear of dirt and mud.
- Don’t Slip Up – Summer showers or rainstorms mean that streets are still slippery when wet. Slow down to avoid hydroplaning.
- School’s Out – Expect to See Kids. Be ever watchful for children on foot, bicycles, and skateboards. If a ball rolls into the path of your vehicle, be alert for a child in pursuit.
- Be Mindful of Cross-Walks – Scan carefully before proceeding through and always give the pedestrian the right of way. Be especially careful when making turns – as this is where many cross-walk accidents occur. Unfortunately, not everyone uses them correctly, so check the entire surrounding area carefully for those who are crossing close-by, but not quite on the actual cross-walk.
- Watch Out for Jaywalkers. Even if you’re not at fault, you don’t ever want to be involved in a vehicle/pedestrian tragedy. Drive with care, especially around street parking, being alert for adults and children darting into traffic from between parked vehicles.
- Put Down the Cell. It is simply never, ever safe to talk or text on a cell phone while driving. If you must answer a call, pull over and stop. Every time. No exceptions.
- Don’t Multi-task. No one, no matter how careful they may try to be, can give their full attention to driving while using a phone, navigation equipment, searching for music, or adjusting a seat position. Always put everything in order before you start.
- Use Signal Lights. As always, use proper signs for all turns to alert pedestrians of your intentions.
- Never Drive Under the Influence. Do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or using drugs. Keep in mind that some prescription drugs can have sedating effects as well, so don’t attempt to drive until you know how yours affect you.
- Back up with Care. Simply double-checking your mirrors before backing up can prevent a tragedy. Never start moving until you have looked both ways behind you and ensured no one is directly behind your vehicle.
- Don’t Roll through Stop Signs. Remember that a Stop sign means exactly that. Stop completely. Not only can you be ticketed for a rolling stop, you could injure or kill a pedestrian.
So, get out there and enjoy your summer driving. Just keep in mind that your friends and neighbours are out there too. With a little common sense, care and courtesy we can all have the safe and sensational summer we’ve come out of the woodwork to enjoy. Happy travels!