Millions of auto accidents happen every single year in the United States, and while many of these accidents involve crashes and collisions between vehicles, there are also a lot of accidents that directly involve pedestrians too.
Pedestrians can get into or even cause accidents in various ways, such as crossing the street without looking, stepping out from behind a parked car or other obstacles where they couldn’t have been seen by oncoming drivers, or failing to heed street signs and warnings in the area.
It’s also possible for drivers to be completely at fault for pedestrian accidents. Drivers may get distracted, for instance, and not spot pedestrians waiting to cross the street ahead, or they might be going too fast to slow down if a pedestrian tries to cross over.
According to Jacoby & Meyers that the number of pedestrian crashes has risen quite a lot in recent years, and it’s clear that a genuine pedestrian crash crisis is upon us. It’s up to both drivers and pedestrians to take action and try to reduce the risks of these kinds of crashes, and here are a few tips and tricks for drivers in particular.
Drive Slowly and Sensibly in Pedestrian Areas
One of the simplest ways in which drivers can help to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents is to make sure that they drive slowly and cautiously in pedestrian spaces. The slower you drive, the easier it will be to slow down and stop suddenly if a pedestrian steps out, and that little difference could be huge in terms of saving lives.
Make Eye Contact
It’s not really possible for drivers to communicate with pedestrians directly, which is why things like hand gestures and eye contact have become so important. If you’re letting someone cross the street, try to make eye contact with them and nod or gesture to send the message. Otherwise, pedestrians might be unclear on your intentions, and vice versa, which could cause accidents.
It’s important to have patience with pedestrians too. There are lots of older people out on the streets who may need more time to prepare before walking across or might take more time to get to the other side. There are also people with disabilities and other circumstances that could make it hard to hear or spot your car right away.
Keep Away from the Curb
Another of the many pedestrian safety tips for drivers to keep in mind is to always keep a good distance between your vehicle and the curb. Pedestrians can be unpredictable at times, and it’s possible that someone might step off the curb unexpectedly or even get pushed or fall to the side if they trip. If you keep your distance, you can help to avoid nasty accidents.
Watch Out for Signs and Crossings
It’s always important to keep your eyes on the road while driving, and this is especially true if you want to help avoid pedestrian accidents. Try to make sure that you’re looking out for any signs, crossings, or lights up ahead and pay attention to them. If you see crossings in the area, slow down and be ready to stop, and if you see signs for places like schools, be sure to drive especially carefully.
Distracted driving is a major issue in America today, with millions of people have admitted that they do things like using their phones or trying to eat and drink while sitting behind the wheel. There are many possible distractions out there that could take your attention away from the road, and it only takes a little loss of focus for an accident to happen.
Respond Accordingly to Changing Weather Conditions
The weather can have a big impact on your driving experiences. When it rains, for example, the roads can become slippery and brake times are increased, or if it snows and the roads are frosty, there’s a greater risk of slips and skids. Be sure to respond accordingly to the weather, using your lights to make yourself seen and slowing down so you’re able to stop if anything happens.
Never Drive While Drunk
This tip is one that everyone is aware of, but a huge percentage of Americans admit to still drinking and driving every year, despite being aware of the risks. Driving while drunk is hugely dangerous because your reaction times are slower, your decision-making abilities are worse, and you generally have less control over your vehicle.
Don’t Rush Past Stopped Cars or Buses
When a car or bus stops in front of you, it can be tempting to simply rush right past it so that you can continue on with your journey, but this sort of action can cause a lot of accidents. Someone might step off the bus and then out into the street, for example, or a pedestrian might be stepping out in front of the stopped car.
Look When Turning
As you make a left or right turn onto a new street, be sure to take it slowly and look carefully into the street ahead as you enter. Pedestrians might have been waiting right around that corner and could be attempting to cross over from one side of the street to the other, and a lot of accidents happen due to drivers rushing around corners and into turns.
Give Pedestrians Right of Way
Some pedestrians can break or bend the rules, stepping out into the street when they shouldn’t, jaywalking, or engaging in other kinds of dangerous behavior. However, while this might be frustrating to deal with, it’s important to remember to give way and let them pass. This is a legal obligation in most situations too.
These are just some of the many tips and tricks you can pick up and start following today in order to become a safer and more sensible driver, as well as setting a good example for others and reducing the risk of pedestrian accidents occurring around you.