This time of year is a great time for people in Seattle to take a nice walk. Walking is good exercise and is an environmentally friendly way to get to your destination. However, being a pedestrian comes with certain risks, including the risk of being struck by a car.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Pedestrians can take some steps to protect themselves while walking. Like motorists, they should follow traffic lights and road signs. They should walk on sidewalks, and if sidewalks are not available, against traffic. Crossing streets at intersections is important, as is walking in well-lit areas.
Safety tips for motorists
Sadly, a negligent motorist can strike even the most conscientious pedestrian. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorists can take certain steps to ensure they will not strike a pedestrian.
Motorists should practice pedestrian awareness, meaning they should look out for pedestrians whenever they are driving. This is especially true when vision is obscured due to darkness, rain or fog.
Motorists should slow down and stop completely at intersections. Motorists should yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Motorists should also stop well before crosswalks and should not try to pass a vehicle at a crosswalk.
Also, distracted driving should be avoided. A driver on their cellphone may not pay attention to their surroundings and could strike a pedestrian. Drunk driving should be avoided at all times, as should speeding.
Practice pedestrian awareness
Ultimately, the best way to prevent pedestrian accidents is for motorists to practice pedestrian awareness. Almost all of us are pedestrians at some point during the day, whether we are merely walking in a parking lot or crossing the street to get to work. It is up to motorists to recognize pedestrians in their surroundings and drive cautiously, in order to avoid causing a pedestrian accident.