Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It was a dark and stormy morning

On any given day I am a pedestrian, a bus rider, a carpooler and/or a driver, and sometimes it is important to remind each group how we can keep ourselves safe.

Winter has finally arrived and today was the first of many dark, rainy commutes into the city...and I have a beef - I can't see you people! Yes, I mean you - dashing across the street in a vain attempt to stay dry in your black shoes, dark pants, black trench coat and carrying a black computer bag, oblivious to everything while talking on your cellphone.

In the event of a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, it is often the pedestrian who suffers a serious, and possibly life altering, injury; even when they were crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. This being true, pedestrians should follow these tips whenever walking near or crossing a roadway:
  • Use crosswalks, but still remember to follow the tips…
  • Do not assume the drive sees you even if you see the driver – Make eye contact before crossing.
  • Walk on paths or sidewalks. Otherwise walk facing traffic.
  • Wear bright colors or reflective materials, especially in the dark or in inclement weather.
    If you typically wear a dark colored jacket, dark pants and dark shoes, and carry a dark colored bag or case, chances are you cannot be seen. Attach a lighted beacon or reflective tape to your outerwear or bag.
  • Use extra caution when talking on a cell phone or wearing headphones. Better yet, don’t distract yourself and stay alert.
  • Slow down.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Look for movement on the sides of the road and/or between parked cars. There could be pedestrians or bicyclists who are going to enter the roadway.

What do you do to keep yourself safe on the roadway? Do you have a good story to share about what not to do while on the roadway?

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