Stay Safe While Walking!

By Alexis Eades

June’s sunny days and warm evenings may inspire you to go walking around your neighborhood, in the city, or on your way to/from work. Unfortunately, Injury Facts reports that pedestrian fatalities on public roads are common and often preventable. Colliers Engineering & Design’s June Safety Tip from the National Safety Council is all about how you can keep you, your team, and your loved ones safe as pedestrians.

Pedestrian Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that walkers follow some very universal rules every time they use sidewalks and roads. Here are a few of their suggestions:

  • Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic
  • Cross streets at crosswalks
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Avoid alcohol and drug impairment when walking
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots
  • Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult

Walking and Cell Phone Use

According to Injury Facts, over all age groups since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have trended up sharply. Why? Cell phone use has been cited as a likely culprit. Some of their advice: 

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
  • Be aware of your surroundings

Keep Pedestrians Safe While YOU Drive

The NHTSA says that when driving you should:

  • Obey all traffic laws, especially posted speed limits in school zones
  • Watch for pedestrians at all times and be extra cautious when backing up
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, making eye contact to indicate that you see them
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks
  • Stay alert – avoid distracted driving
  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

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