In the summer, many people take advantage of the beautiful weather to head outside. As well, children are usually home from school and may be playing outside. For drivers, the summer presents new challenges since more pedestrians can mean more car accidents involving pedestrians. These accidents are often especially because they involve children. As well, car-pedestrian accidents are often devastating, leading to fatalities, brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries. This summer, here are ways to prevent these accidents:
1) Keep an extra eye out for pedestrians. There are more pedestrians around, so do scan sidewalks and pedestrian walkways as well as the roads as you drive. This can help you spot pedestrians before they try to cross the street.
2) On your usual route, note parks and exits from walking and biking trails. Pedestrians might be coming out of these areas and trying to cross the street. Some may be wearing headphones or talking on the phone, distracting them from traffic.
3) Use extra caution in parking lots. Parking lots are a common site for accidents, and even at the relatively low speeds usual in parking lots, pedestrian-car collisions often prove fatal to pedestrians. Be especially careful to check blind spots for children.
4) Don’t ignore school zones and school bus zones just because it’s summer. In the summer, summer school is still in session and school bus zones are sometimes still in use for camps. As well, school bus zones are often residential areas where children might be playing outside. Even though school is out, school zones still deserve some extra caution.
5) Don’t expect pedestrians to follow road rules. Many pedestrian-car collisions happen because a motorist expected a pedestrian to behave one way and the pedestrian did something unexpected. While pedestrians are expected to follow some rules of the road – such as cross on green lights and cross the street at crosswalks – not all pedestrians follow these rules.
6) Make sure your windows are clean and your mirrors are adjusted carefully. This will ensure that you have good visibility and a good view of what might be in your blind spots.
7) Use extra caution at night. Some people take advantage of warm evenings for strolls. Not all pedestrians wear reflective clothing for evening jaunts, so do check the sides of roads and sidewalks for movement so that you are prepared in case someone steps out onto the road.