How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
In 2010 one person every two hours was killed in a traffic accident. According in that same year to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there was 4, 268 pedestrian traffic fatalities and today that number continues to steadily increase. Under Sacramento’s law, vehicle operators must always yield the right of way to pedestrians, even in cases when technically the pedestrian does not have to “right of way”.
As a driver, it’s essential for you to make it your responsibility to protect pedestrians while on the road so that you can prevent accidents and personal injury.
#1 Slow Down When Entering Pedestrian Zones
Speeding is the number one cause of pedestrian accidents. The faster you drive your risk of losing control of the vehicle is increased. Also, speeding decreases your reaction time- the amount of time needed to apply the brakes. One second of inattention while driving at an accelerated speed is even more dangerous and you’re likely to make more mistakes when driving fast.
# 2 Avoid Driving Aggressively
Yes, avoid tailgating, cutting off other drivers, failing to use signs when merging and turning. Not only does this inhibit your judgment but you also affect the way other drivers on the road drive. They become more defensive because they are trying to ensure their safety on the road. When you drive aggressively there’s even the risk of making the mistake of hitting a pedestrian.
# 3 Never Block the Sidewalk or Crosswalks
When stopping at a red light avoid pulling up so close that you enter the crosswalk. You should never park your car in a spot where the sidewalk is blocked. When you block crosswalks and sidewalks you force pedestrians out of the designated walkways and their forced to walk behind or in front of vehicles in the street which is dangerous.
# 4 Never Drink and Drive
Drunk driving is one of the biggest contributing factors of pedestrian fatalities. When driving under the influence of alcohol your judgment is impaired, you lose the ability to properly operate a vehicle, and your response time is less reliable. Not to mention, you can also get a DUI which can lead to your license being revoked, a jail sentence and expensive fees.
# 5 Exercise Extra Cautions Around Schools and Playgrounds
Most children are unprepared to be safe pedestrians. They haven’t fully developed fundamental cognitive skills to detect the speed and distance of moving vehicles. So whenever you are driving in a school zone or near a park or playground it’s wise to drive at a slower speed.
# 6 Give Pedestrians Enough Time to Cross the Street When Turning
When turning always give the pedestrians walking through the crosswalk, enough time to make it to the other side before turning. If you cut them off, you run the risk of possibly hitting them. Also, when you see elderly pedestrians you might have to give them a bit more time to make it through the crosswalk.
By following these simple tips you can help prevent a accident.