Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers on the Road

It is crucial for drivers to stay alert and maintain safety for any pedestrians on or around the roads. 

Pedestrian Safety Statistics

Pedestrian deaths made up 17% of all traffic-related facilities in 2018. An estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated nationwide for non-fatal injuries from car accidents during that same year.

Studies have found that a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes, on average. Around 88% of pedestrian fatalities occur during clear or cloudy weather conditions, which means that the weather is not a factor in pedestrian deaths as much as driver attentiveness. 

Additionally, 74% of pedestrian fatalities occur in non-intersections, while 75% occur in the dark and 50% occur between 6 p.m. and midnight (regardless of whether it’s dark). Over 70% of reported pedestrians killed are male.

One of the most crucial pedestrian safety tips for drivers is to eliminate the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is one of the most important factors in fatal pedestrian crashes. Over 49% of crashes involve alcohol either for the driver or pedestrian. 

The pedestrian groups most at risk for accidents are seniors 65 and older, children who are 14 years old or younger, and those who are under the influence of alcohol. 

Safety Tips for Drivers to Follow

Following are eleven important pedestrian safety tips for drivers:

1. Be Aware that You Are Responsible for Pedestrians

Although some may think that they are only responsible for themselves, everyone is responsible for pedestrian safety.

Driving is a privilege and not a right. As a driver, it is your duty to watch out for pedestrians and act fast to avoid potential accidents.

2. Avoid Any Possible Distractions

Distracted driving is deadly. The California Highway Patrol, for example, strongly recommends that all drivers put their cell phones away while driving, even going so far as to recommend that drivers put their cell phones completely out of their reach. 

Distracted driving includes using your cell phone, eating or drinking while behind the wheel, and so on. The fewer distractions you have, the more attentive you are to the road and the pedestrians around you. 

3. Constantly Be on the Lookout for Pedestrians

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for pedestrians. Keep in mind that pedestrians may walk outside of designated crosswalks and that some areas are more likely to have pedestrians on and around the road.

4. Pay Careful Attention to Seniors and Children

Elderly people may have trouble seeing, and children may run into the street without warning. Make sure that you are extremely cautious of both of these groups when you see them approaching a crosswalk or walking near a road. 

Statistics show that seniors 65 and older and children 14 years old or younger are most at risk for pedestrian accidents. Keep their safety at the forefront of your mind.

5. Look Before You Make a Turn 

Before making a turn, remember that pedestrians may be in the crosswalk. Always plan ahead and check to see if there is a pedestrian crossing or waiting to cross. Make clear eye contact and give the pedestrian the right of way.

6. Follow Traffic Signs and Signals Diligently

Signs and signals are in place for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. Make sure to watch, stop, and yield accordingly. Also, ensure that you do not speed and follow all traffic laws.

7. Give Pedestrians the Right of Way

Always give pedestrians the right of way. Pedestrians, unfortunately, do not always follow the rules. People are unpredictable. They may jaywalk, run out in front of a car, or cross the crosswalk against the signal. Even if a pedestrian is in the wrong, your duty and legal obligation is to yield the right of way and let the pedestrian pass. 

Remember that you are operating heavy machinery. A pedestrian does not stand a chance against you, so it is your responsibility to ensure their safety. 

8. Never Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving steals lives. Being impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs makes driving more dangerous.

Do not drive while impaired. It slows your reaction time and cognitive functions. You will not be able to notice pedestrians or stop in time to avoid an accident as well as you can while sober.

Find another way home if you’ve been drinking; don’t risk your life and the lives of pedestrians and other motorists.

9. Prepare Yourself for Bad Weather

Whether due to rain, hail, fog, or snow, your visibility may decrease and the roads might become slippier in poor weather conditions. Make sure to turn on your lights and keep a careful eye out for pedestrians when driving during tough weather. And always use your turn signals appropriately. 

10. Pay More Attention at Night

Statistics show that at least 70% of reported pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Paying extra attention at night is one of the most important pedestrian safety tips for drivers.

11. Never Assume that a Pedestrian Can SeeYou

Make sure that you give pedestrians the right of way and make eye contact with them whenever possible. Pedestrians can be distracted, too. It’s important to never assume that a pedestrian can see you or that they can predict your next move. 

Be Responsible

Remember all of these pedestrian safety tips for drivers before you get behind the wheel. These safety tips were created to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths and avoid unnecessary injuries and collisions. It is your duty to be responsible and to ensure that you keep pedestrians and yourself safe. 

Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, LLP. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including cartruck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, LLP. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!