When a car and pedestrian conflict, there is no contest. Pedestrians are far more vulnerable in traffic than vehicles.
While both parties have responsibilities, drivers should take extra precautions. Keep these tips in mind:
Obey speed limits.
They are posted for a reason! A pedestrian has a 5% chance of becoming a fatality if hit by a car traveling 20 MPH. That increases to 85% when the car is traveling 40 MPH.
Slow down in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic.
Watch for pedestrians in parking lots. Be cautious when entering or exiting a parking area surrounded by pedestrian pathways and sidewalks.
Frequently scan the area around you as you drive.
Check the area in front of you and to your sides as you drive. Be alert for sudden movement.
Watch what is going on around you.
Be aware of the activity around you as you drive. Your constant observation of the roadway and its surroundings could save a life.
Take weather and lighting conditions into account.
Remember that darkness and inclement weather increases reaction and braking time. Drive below the speed limit when lighting and weather conditions are not the best.
Don't be distracted while you drive.
There are lots of distractions when driving. . .cell phones, car stereos, dashboard dining, conversations with passengers. Driving is a full-time job! Keep your mind on it.
Come to a complete stop before making a right turn on a red light at an intersection.
There are no free right turns! Hold a full stop for at least 3 seconds before you steer your car around the corner. Look for the pedestrian who has the signal to walk.
Expect the unexpected.
Remember. . .anything can happen. Be alert to the pedestrian who steps out between parked cars.
Be courteous at crosswalks.
Remember all intersections are legal crosswalks whether they are marked or not. Pedestrians have the right of way. Don't nudge a pedestrian across the street with your creeping car.
Don't overtake a vehicle stopped in the roadway.
Can't wait a few seconds for the car stopped on the road in front of you? It is illegal for a car to pass another that has stopped for a pedestrian crossing the street. Your impatience could lead to disaster.