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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Pedestrian Safety Be Aware of the Dangers

When driving along your way to where you are going have you ever noticed individuals that are crossing the street in the middle, not at the corner or that are simply waling on the side of the road without a care or whim?? I am not sure where you live but both of these happen quite often where I live. While, I live in a semi - rural area it is still a dangerous act to do, but the most vulnerable are those walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets and negotiating traffic. Thus drivers must may attention to pedestrians and pedestrians must pay attention to what is going on around them as well.

Are you aware that pedestrian vehicle injures are the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19. While this age group is higher in statistics no age group is immune to this type of accident. Most of us were taught to look both left, right and left again before crossing the street but sometimes looking left again is forgotten and before we cross a car can quickly approach from the right. In addition to looking before crossing we can also use our eyes to make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you. Headphones can also be distracted and while many wear them while walking they can be the reason for accidents so perhaps it is best if they are left off.

The cell phone is a wonderful invention but it is also dangerous if used at certain times. Walking with a cell phone is a risk to becoming distracted and may lead to incidents. The cell phone conversation can lead us to losing track of our surroundings. Our safety and the safety others can be placed at risk when this happens. So what should we do?? Stop using our cell phones when walking.

In our area we have both a bike path as well as a walkers path. These paths help keep all concerned safe. More can be done though, areas such as malls and parking lots, other sidewalks, blind intersections and high traffic areas are issues that need to be looked at and a solution found. Hopefully in the future this will be done.

Other tips for pedestrian safety include:

  • watch to make sure the car totally stops to let you cross in front. Never rely on a car to stop
  • Adults with children younger than the age of 10 should be sure to cross the street together
  • Crosswalks are there for a reason, only cross at crosswalks designated for that purpose.
  • when walking wear bright and / or reflective clothing so drivers will be aware you are there
Walking has been proven to stay healthy, but in all cases safety must be put first. 

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