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Monday, September 28, 2015

Walk Safely

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides great tips for both pedestrians and drivers to remain safe while sharing the road.
When you are walking:
Photo credit: Seth Nenstiel
Photo credit: Seth Nenstiel
  • Be predictable.  Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
  • If there is not sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.  This is where drivers expect pedestrians.  Look for cars in all directions – including those turning left or right.
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic.  Wait for a time gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
  • Never assume a driver sees you.  Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
  • Be visible at all times.  Wear bright clothing during the day, wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment.
When you are driving:
  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.  Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.  There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up- pedestrians can move in your path.
Download a copy of  Everyone is a Pedestrian and visit the NHTSA website for more safety tips.  Keep walking and be safe!

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