Most people have had the experience of driving down the road and nearly hitting a pedestrian who walks out into the roadway without looking to see if there’s any oncoming traffic. Likewise, you’ve probably been walking and seen a fair number of drivers who are driving too fast or recklessly for an area that pedestrians frequent.
Whether you’re traveling on foot or on four wheels, following the rules of the road are important for keeping yourself and others safe. Let’s take a look at the regulations to which drivers and pedestrians should be adhering.
Rules for pedestrians
When there’s a run-in between a vehicle and a person on foot, obviously the walker is at a distinct disadvantage.
If you’re walking, it’s important that you stick to the rules for pedestrians:
- Cross only in designated areas. Traffic lights and crossways that are marked are the only safe places to cross. Never attempt to cross the street in the middle of the block or step out in-between parked cars.
- Make eye contact with drivers. If you’re crossing the street in front of a vehicle that’s stopped, make sure the driver sees you. Making eye contact is a way to be sure that you’re seen.
- Dress appropriately. When you’re out for a walk, it’s a good idea to wear clothing that is light in colour or bright. Reflective strips are great for walking at dusk or in the dark.
- Follow procedures for traffic lights. Don’t attempt to cross before traffic has stopped completely. If the intersection has a “œWalk” signal, wait for it to flash before you proceed. Never cross when a “œDo Not Walk” is flashing.
- Be alert. Keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. Be aware of cars that are entering or exiting driveways or turning corners.
Rules for drivers
As a driver, you have the ability to cause serious harm to pedestrians if you aren’t careful.
Here are the laws you need to follow when you’re behind the wheel:
- Always be watching. Keep your eyes peeled for walkers, especially when you’re making a turn or pulling into or out of a driveway.
- Look for children. Children don’t always make the best choices and they’re often unaware of their surroundings. It’s up to you to watch out for them, especially in school zones, when you’re near parks or play areas, and in residential neighborhoods.
- Pay attention to Community Safety Zone signs. These signs mark areas where public safety is an issue and/or pedestrians are likely to be numerous.
- Stay calm. Don’t become impatient with those with disabilities or older people who can’t quickly cross the road.
- Be alert. Many of us have had the experience of arriving at our destination and realizing that we zoned out a bit during the drive. Pedestrians, especially children and young people, can be unpredictable. It’s imperative to stay alert when you’re behind the wheel.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one find yourselves in a situation in which you’ve been injured due to laws that haven’t been followed, you may need to seek the advice of a trusted lawyer that can help in catastrophic injury cases like Howard Yegendorf and Associates.