I am that delinquent runner you just barely missed hitting, you know the one who didn’t look before crossing and didn’t even know you were there because I had my headphones in and music turned up loud enough to muffle the gasping from my lungs. I know better, really I do. I’ve lectured my children numerous times on all the pedestrian perils, but let’s be honest, this is when oxygen to my brain is lacking and logical thought just isn’t happening.
So let’s chat pedestrian safety. Not just for hazards like me, but for the little people who are still learning the ropes, and in consideration of the changing daylight and approaching winter conditions.
Recent studies show that in Alberta 78 % of pedestrians killed were
25 and older, that number rises to 85% in Ontario.
Pedestrians, you are responsible for your safety too.
We know the rules, but as adults we get busy and sometimes a little lazy. Cutting across traffic to make our own shortcuts or being distracted by a phone call, text message, or child begging for your attention. Just as with vehicular incidents, when pedestrians are hit, it’s often not an accident at all but in fact a collision. It likely could have been prevented.
It was dark or twilight for 57% of fatal pedestrian collisions.*
Do your part:
- Pay attention. Being distracted by a device on foot can be equally as dangerous as driving with one. Keep your eyes up and ears open – use all your senses to stay alert to oncoming traffic and other dangers.
- Stay visible. This is especially important if you are walking in the early morning hours or at night when it’s dark. You can find reflective gear such as hats, wristband and other accessories at most sports stores.
- Follow the rules. Y are not above the law, obey traffic signs and cross at the appropriate corners and crosswalks.
- Make eye contact. Be sure that drivers see you and know you want to cross. Making eye contact is a good indication that it is safe to proceed.
- Stay on the sidewalk. This is the safest place for pedestrians. If there is no sidewalk available, walk on the side of the road against traffic. This allows you to see oncoming vehicles early and move to safety.
47.9% of the drivers involved in pedestrian casualty collisions failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian.**
Tips for drivers on pedestrian safety…
- Don’t get distracted. We know you know, but just in case, keep mobile devices tucked away, and your eyes on the road.
- Approach with caution. Be alert and watch for pedestrians as you approach crosswalks, and watch for people navigating the parking lots. Be prepared to stop when you see vehicles in neighbouring lanes stopped, there is likely a pedestrian you cannot yet see.
- Obey speed limits. Be especially cautious in school zones and watch for safety patrols and crossing guards.
Did you know?
Earlier this year in Ontario, new rules were issued to improve pedestrian safety at crossovers. Drivers, including cyclists, must stop and yield the whole roadway for pedestrian crossovers, school crossing and other locations where there is not a crosswalk. What’s the difference between a crosswalk and a crossover? See here.
If keeping everyone safe and sound isn’t incentive enough, there are fines for drivers who don’t stop at crosswalks. In Alberta, that’s a whopping $575 ticket and four demerit points. In Ontario fines range from $150 – $500 and up to three demerit points.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
Have More Questions?
Let me know and I’ll do my best to address it here for you and all of our readers. Better yet, contact an InsureMy advisor; these guys know their stuff. Email Info@InsureMy.ca or give them a call locally at (403) 410-1896 or toll free at 1-844-410-1896.
Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie