Face it, you're a kid without a car. This means you probably do a lot of walking to get where you need to go. This means you are a pedestrian. Walking may seem like the easiest, most natural thing in the world, but it can be dangerous.
Did you know that each year, cars, trucks and buses kill almost 6,000 pedestrians? Sixteen people are hit and killed each day somewhere in the United States. By using common sense, pedestrians and drivers can help prevent death and injury. Below are some tips to help you walk smart and a few ways drivers can help keep you safe:
Getting Off On The Right Foot
- Cross at crosswalks. If there is no crosswalk, go to the corner to cross. Never cross in the middle of the block.
- Give drivers enough time to stop before you step into the crosswalk. Just because the crosswalk gives you the OK, that does not mean the driver has seen you enter the crosswalk.
- When walking at night, wear light-colored or reflective clothes that will make it easier for drivers to see you.
- Carry a small flashlight with you when walking at night.
- Before stepping off the curb, look left-right-left, and listen for oncoming traffic. Do not simply depend on traffic signals to tell you when it's clear to walk. Look before you step into the street.
- Do not cross from between parked vehicles.
- If there is a sidewalk, use it. Do not walk in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far out of the street as you can get.
- Keep an eye on the traffic at all times. Do not block your view with backpacks, books, hats or other items.
For Those In The Driver's Seat
- Always come to a full stop behind the white limit line at crosswalk, signals and stop signs. In an unmarked intersection or crosswalk, stop at the corner. Do not go until you have made sure there is no one in the crosswalk.
- Do not pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.
- Wait for the person crossing to reach the other side of the crosswalk before you go.
- Make sure to keep all car windows clean, inside and out, so you can clearly see what is in front, to the side and behind your car.
- Keep your car's headlights clean so people can see you coming.
- Never wear sunglasses once it starts to get dark.
- Never speed, especially in areas where people live and near schools during normal school hours.
- Be aware of other drivers when using your high beams at night.
- At night, adjust the rear view mirror to the "night" setting to avoid glare from the headlights of cars behind you.
- Watch for people who may dart out from behind parked vehicles, especially children.
- By law, drivers must stop for anyone using a guide dog or a white cane whether in or out of a crosswalk. Only blind, or nearly blind, people are allowed to use guide dogs or white canes.