In the wake of the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. there is a responsibility to be frank and real about safety awareness.
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According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), nearly 6,000 pedestrians died in 2017 which rouses concerns about the nation’s disconcerting pedestrian death toll.
While automakers develop new safety features to ensure a safer experience behind the wheel, little progress has been made in pedestrian safety, which can be counterproductive over the long run.
As pedestrians, we are constantly advised to keep our eyes wide open when crossing the street or standing at any intersection for our own protection.
What do you do to stay out of danger when walking in highly congested cities? Even people living in small communities are exposed to the dangers of the road, so safety awareness is pivotal.
Pedestrian safety should be our number one priority owing to the alarming number of accidents in the U.S. today, which is the reason why we grouped 5 tips that can keep you safe when walking in an area where vehicles drive.
Pay attention to your walkways
You should be walking on sidewalks and in crosswalks as much as possible. Pay attention to your surroundings and check for walk signals to avoid any potential danger.
It is also imperative to keep a safe distance when standing on street corners, mostly because of trucks, buses, and other big vehicles that make wide turns.
There were reported cases in which these vehicles go over the sidewalk, which isn’t safe at all. By being alert of their maneuvers, not only will you be showing good judgement but also cautiousness.
Watch out for blind spots
Again, when it comes to huge vehicles you need to be extra cautious, mostly because of the blind spots or no-zones that can jeopardize your safety.
A good technique is to start assuming that drivers are not aware of your presence, nor your intentions to walk by them.
Avoid talking to drivers when they are backing up as they won’t be able to spot you from behind the truck or any other big vehicle. You are in charge of minimizing this type of risk.
Don’t underestimate stopping distances
Calculating the precise stopping distance from big vehicles can be tough but you shouldn’t assume that a truck will stop at the same time as any other small-sized passenger vehicle.
In other words, vehicles require a certain amount of space to safely come to a complete stop.
As stopping distances greatly depends on reaction distance, weight, speed, and other variables, you are recommended to wait until the vehicle comes to a complete stop prior to crossing the street.
Visibility means everything
Once a driver is able to spot you from a prudent distance, they will be able to exercise good judgement.
Safety experts advise pedestrians to wear colorful and bright clothing in order to be easily spot by other drivers, which makes more sense when walking at night.
It is all about making yourself visible to other drivers as every reflective item can improve your safety.
Be careful with trucks carrying a wide load
Trucks with wide loads have very limited visibility and maneuvering is way more challenging compared to other conventional, small-sized vehicles.
These trucks are usually heavier and take a lot of space on the road. Other drivers even try to keep a safe distance from these big vehicles as they are more vulnerable to make costly mistakes.
As for pedestrian safety, trucks with wide loads make wider turns, require more space, and take even longer to come to a complete stop.
Be cautious, don’t walk by their blind spots, and make eye contact with drivers to avoid confusion that could result in a tragedy.