A Smart Driver’s Pedestrian Rulebook

Pedestrian safety - kids crossing street
Mats Lindh, Flickr.com

Of all the hazards you face on a daily basis when you’re behind the wheel of your car, pedestrians represent the greatest danger, though not necessarily to you. Not physically, anyway. Let’s face it – a pedestrian is no match against a moving car. But the damage that you’re capable of inflicting upon another human being by failing to look out for and yield to pedestrians could land you in serious emotional, legal and financial trouble.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind to make sure you prioritize pedestrian safety when you’re on the road.

  • Bad weather can make pedestrians practically invisible. It also sometimes invites them to dash across streets in search of shelter. If you’re cruising around in inclement weather, keep an eye out – especially on city streets and in neighborhoods – for people wanting to cross the street, and yield to them.
  • Always watch for crosswalks in the road. Whenever you’re driving through a crosswalk, even if there are no pedestrians in sight, slow down and prepare yourself to stop suddenly. You never know when someone might emerge into your path.
  • When stopping at a crosswalk, stop far enough back so that other drivers can see the pedestrian and also yield. If the car ahead of you has stopped to let a pedestrian across, never pass.
  • Beware of pedestrians even where there aren’t supposed to be any. Just because you’re out driving a deserted country road doesn’t mean there won’t be a person on foot up ahead walking along the side of the road, or crossing it.
  • When waiting your turn to enter a road, look out for pedestrians, who may come from either side of the street, and yield to them.
  • Slow down anytime you’re driving past a school or through a neighborhood with kids at play. Even if posted speed limits don’t reflect a slower speed, that extra bit of caution could save a life.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 4,432 pedestrians were killed, and 69,000 were injured by cars. To do your part in ensuring those numbers don’t rise – and to prevent from being the one to cause injury or death to another person – take steps today to change the way you drive. All it takes to save lives is a little more caution and attention.

And to keep your car safe, have it inspected by a trustworthy mechanic. You can find one through Openbay.