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Government Launches New Safety Initiative: Everyone Is a Pedestrian

The federal government recently announced a new safety campaign intended to make our streets safer for those who travel on foot. The initiative, spearheaded by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, highlights that everyone is a pedestrian at some time.

Unfortunately, pedestrians were among the few categories of road users where fatalities increased, accounting for 14 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2011, up 3 percent from 2010. Using these statistics, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.

As San Diego personal injury attorneys, we want to do our part to help reverse this dangerous trend. Below are a few key tips from the NHTSA:

When you are walking

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

When you are driving

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard- to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up – pedestrians can move into your path.