The majority of crashes involving pedestrians and motorists have tragic results where the pedestrians have the main responsibility and who suffers the consequence. More than 60,000 pedestrians have been reported injured in traffic crashes and around 5,000 were killed in 2008; in most cases, the alcohol was involved too.
Walking is truly important for our personal health and it is necessary to do it around 30 minutes every day, providing us with physical and mental benefits. However, we become pedestrians potentially exposed to an accident. It is necessary to consider driving safety statistics of deceases caused by car accidents, to prevent injuries and to begin for mutual respect with motorists and drivers.
Some holidays can turn out to be a deadly trap: On New Year’s eve, most of the people drinking and walking on streets without conscience of their acts. You avoid drinking in excess not to expose your life. In Halloween as custom, the children are walking at night in costumes, impeding their vision and risking to mortal dangers.
Some simple rules to avoid incidents:
- Use marked crosswalks, not between parked cars.
- Cross only at intersections and only when the traffic signal turns on the green light.
- Obey all traffic signs, especially with the traffic lights. Don’t cross on a red light.
- Put attention, when walking in darkness and you see wear bright clothing or reflective strips.
- Do not be distracted by some electronic devices when you are crossing the street. Put away cell phones, PDAs or headsets.
- Be aware of and always facing traffic.
- Never let children under 10 cross alone the road. They must be supervised by an adult.
To look after your safety as a pedestrian and to teach children how to look after themselves is fairly mandatory nowadays; keep in mind the following rules and make sure your children understand them as well so you will never be involved in an undesirable situation:
- Check everywhere before crossing, that is, right, left and right.
- Do not cross from in-between cars as it is hard to see cars coming your way.
- Do not play in the middle of a driveway.
- If there are no sidewalks where you are walking always walk facing oncoming cars.
- If you are walking at night wear something colorful, especially if walking the roadside.
- Respect traffic signs, as drivers may obey them.
- When crossing, always use the intersections.
As a driver:
- Remember that pedestrians may be walking or standing in unpredictable places, be always careful when driving and do not take pedestrians for granted.
- Whenever you have trouble seeing, due to darkness or bad weather, remember to slow down, there may be a pedestrian near you with the same trouble.
- Slow down and stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, this will show other drivers a pedestrian is nearby.
- If you see a car has stopped remember there is always a reason so, do not pass that car unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Do not take pedestrians for granted or assume they have to follow rules even if they are breaking them; remember some people can be handicapped, mentally impaired or simply drunk.
It is important for adults to teach and help children develop appropriate road-crossing behavior, as consequences of bad crossing can be much harder for children than for adults sometimes. Always encourage them to look both ways before crossing and to be aware of the importance of traffic signals.