Keep a wide eye for pedestrians
It’s been a fear for many parents; how do you teach your kids to cross the street safely? We do our best to show them how drivers may not see them walking through the crosswalk. We always try to get them to cross at the corners and avoid crossing in the middle of the block. We always try to give the drivers a chance to see them since they would normally expect pedestrians at the corners. Would you ever expect pedestrians crossing in the middle of the block? Well, expect it because it happens and recently, pedestrians have been killed doing it.
Locally, an 81 year old pedestrian attempted to cross the road and was struck by a driver just before 7 am. http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news/woman-dies-of-injuries-after-being-hit-crossing-fennell/ I can pretty much ensure the 81 year old wasn’t running across the street. The other point to consider here is that the area that the pedestrian was struck was quite clear and wide. There weren’t any buildings blocking the view of the driver. No parked vehicles blocking the view of the pedestrian to the driver. So, what happened that made this driver miss seeing the pedestrian until it was too late?
Was the driver distracted as they pulled out of the parking lot and didn’t see the pedestrian crossing the road? Was their mind on their driving as it should have been? To help us all, we need to expect the unexpected while we’re driving. We have to expect that pedestrians may cross the road at any place and not just the crosswalk. Moving your eyes up ahead and from building to building; not just from curb to curb; will help you spot the pedestrians early. Why wait until they are directly in your path before you do something about it?
During this particular incident, it was just before 7am, which meant the sun was just coming up. Wasn’t completely dark, but it wasn’t really light either. I’m a pedestrian as well as a driver, so I can relate to the risks associated to being a pedestrian. I try to ensure the driver can see me before I cross the street. I look for eye contact from the driver before I step out in front of them. If the driver is looking the opposite direction, I‘ll wait. I also use the crosswalk as often as possible to cross the street. Why tempt fate?
We need to work together; drivers and pedestrians. As a pedestrian, give the driver a chance to see you and respond to your actions. When it’s early morning or later in the day and it’s not light out, wear clothing that can allow the driver to see you more easily. If not, cross at lighted crosswalks to everyone can see everyone else.
As a driver, allow pedestrians to cross safely, whether they are crossing where they should or not. Look for the pedestrians who are heading toward the edge of the road and respond to their actions by slowing or by honking to stop them from crossing where they shouldn’t. Don’t wait until they step off the curb before you spot them. It could be too late by that time. Their life depends on it.