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September is Pedestrian Safety Month

Not everyone has a driver’s license, but everyone is a pedestrian at some point. Whether you plan on taking a leisurely walk this September or your kids walk to school, pedestrian safety is something important to all of us.

September is Pedestrian Safety Month, and this makes for the perfect time to brush up on how to safely reach the other side of the road.

The problem

Automobiles benefit from innovation and advances in safety technology. Vehicles are safer than ever these days with cameras and sensors designed to prevent accidents. Humans, however, are as vulnerable as ever.

In 2017, pedestrian deaths had reached a 25-year high nationwide and California had the 15th-most pedestrian deaths in the country in the first six months of that year. This also marked the second consecutive year with more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths nationwide, proving that this was a disturbing new trend.

Staying safe on the sidewalk

While drivers have a duty to keep fellow motor vehicle operators and pedestrians safe, people travelling on foot can do their part to better protect themselves. A few safety tactics for crossing the street safely include:

  • Be visible. If you’re walking at night or early morning when the sun is low, be sure that you’re wearing bright or reflective clothing to be as visible to drivers as possible.
  • Limit your distractions. Listening to music or a podcast can be enjoyable on a walk, but it’s important that you can still listen for drivers honking or bicyclists trying to pass you. Texting or updating social media while you’re crossing the street is another potentially dangerous act.
  • Don’t surprise drivers. When crossing the road, do so only at designated crosswalks and obey all present traffic signals. Crossing the road unexpectedly could make it difficult for drivers to stop the vehicle to avoid hitting you.

Walking is an economical way to reach your destination in addition to being good exercise. However, you must remember that there are dangerous associated with traveling on foot. By maximizing your visibility, minimizing distractions and crossing the road at appropriate points, you can do your part to reach the other side of the road safely.

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Ball & Bonholtzer
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