From students headed home after class to joggers on their morning runs, pedestrians are everywhere and you never know who will cross your path unexpectedly. While crosswalk safety is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians, accidents happen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were roughly 65,000 pedestrian injuries due to car accidents in 2014. As students go back to school and the heat of summer comes to an end, you are likely to encounter more pedestrians during your commutes. These crosswalk safety tips will ensure you know how to avoid an accident with pedestrians so everyone gets home safely.
Crosswalk Safety Tips for Sharing the Road
These crosswalk safety tips will help you identify pedestrian crossings and and better handle situations where you encounter them.
1. Know where the kids are
Children can be less cautious when it comes to adult concepts like right-of-way and traffic laws. Due to this, they may run into the street or cross without looking. It is important that you, the driver, are extra cautious, especially in school zones or near parks and playgrounds.
Also remember, never pass stopped school buses. Children could dart into the street from a number of hard-to-see angles. Passing a school bus that has its lights flashing can not only add points to your driving record, it could lead to fines and suspension of your license.
2. Slow down for crosswalks
Crosswalks don’t always command respect from drivers. This is especially true around college campuses and city areas. However, crosswalks are designating a safe area for pedestrians to cross. These areas cut down on jaywalking and unexpected pedestrian crossing. By allowing pedestrians to cross in the designated area, they are less likely to dart out unexpectedly in the roadways. It is also important to remember that any intersection, whether marked or unmarked, is technically a crosswalk.
When you approach a crosswalk, always give the right-of-way to pedestrians. If you are making a turn, scan the road closely before turning.
3. Consider driving conditions
Weather and road conditions add to your stopping distance, which means if you’re driving too fast during inclement weather and a pedestrian runs into the street, you will have a harder time stopping. Pedestrians lack the reflective material we rely on to identify other cars and cyclists, so always adjust your speed accordingly to weather changes. This is especially true at night.
4. Watch for pedestrians with special needs
As a driver, keep an eye out for pedestrians who are at greater risk in crosswalk scenarios. This includes pedestrians using a wheelchair, cane or other type of assistance device. Also be aware of blind pedestrians.
By following these tips, you can safely identify and avoid potentially risky crosswalk scenarios. It also should go without saying that distracted driving puts pedestrians at greater risk. Also, be cautious for pedestrians who are distracted by phones or other devices as well. As a general crosswalk safety rule, always yield right-of-way to pedestrians when you’re behind the wheel.
For more ways to keep yourself and others safe behind the wheel, just call us at 724-929-2300! We can find an auto insurance policy to fit you at the best price possible! Ask about how you can save $500 when you bundle with CSC and find out how our discounts can save you even more!