With the school year resuming, early morning and after school traffic is ramping up. At this time of year there are more drivers and pedestrians on the road. This means there is an even greater need to focus on safety. Car drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians share the road and share the responsibility of keeping the road safe. Pedestrians, especially, need to be aware and follow safe practices, too. Walkers can have a greater risk of sustaining harm than a person behind the wheel. Here are some tips to keep yourself or your children safe this school year.
Stay In Sight
It is important to remember that when crossing or walking in the road, stay in the line of sight of drivers. Make eye contact whenever possible – even give a little wave to confirm that the vehicle driver has seen you before you cross the street or cross in front of them. It is all too common that a pedestrian believes they have made eye contact with the driver of the vehicle but in reality, the driver was looking away, at the radio, or talking to a passenger. Also, be on the lookout for cyclists. In some areas they can be notorious for flying through stop signs, and both they and you will be hurt in a collision. Remember, if walking at sundown, nighttime, or in bad weather, wear bright-colored, reflective clothing.
Be Smart About Where You Walk
It is important to remember to cross the street in a safe and visible place. Where there is a portion of the roadway marked for pedestrian use such as a crosswalk or pedestrian crossover, a pedestrian must cross the road in that spot. The best place to cross the street is at a crosswalk where vehicle drivers are expecting to see pedestrians. However, this is not always a possibility. If there is no crosswalk or part of the roadway marked for pedestrian use, use a clear visible spot or intersection to cross the road. If there appears to be heavy traffic and it’s unlikely you can get completely across the road without stopping, find an alternative crossing point. Follow the traffic signs and signals. If the sign indicates that you should not cross – don’t! If a vehicle driver is not expecting a crossing pedestrian, crossing there can be life threatening. Although the road may seem clear, it is important to never assume that a speeding driver won’t suddenly appear, or to assume that the driver will see you in time to stop.
All distractions have potential risk. Texting or looking at your phone while walking in traffic is especially risky and dangerous. If you like to walk with headphones, take one earbud out so you can still be aware of what is happening around you. Protect yourself by using your eyes and your ears. This means staying alert. If you have consumed any alcohol, be cognizant of the way it might affect your physical reflexes and cognitive abilities. You may not be as quick on your feet as you think.
If the worst happens and you are injured while walking, Michelle Linka Professional Corporation can inform you of your rights and advise you on the merits of your case. Please contact us at 416-477-7288 with any questions regarding legal issues you face.