Author: Haley Pender and Lt. R.A. Reed
Since 2019, more than 1,500 pedestrians have been involved in police-reported crashes with motor vehicles according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. To stay safe on the roads, pedestrians and motorists need to respect each other. The following are some tips to keep yourself safe as a pedestrian.
Pedestrian Crossings without Signals
- Stop at the edge of the sidewalk or road before crossing.
- Never run into the street even if you don’t see any traffic.
- Look and listen for traffic to your left, then to your right and left again.
- If your pathway is clear, it is safe to walk across the street while staying alert to your surroundings.
- Avoid having to cross in the middle of major highways or intersections.
Pedestrian Crossings with Signals
- As you approach the pedestrian signal on the curb, push the button that is pointing toward the direction you wish to cross.
- Wait for the walking symbol to appear on the pedestrian light and look to see that all ongoing traffic has reached a complete stop.
- After traffic comes to a halt, look and listen for traffic to your left, then to your right and left again before crossing the street.
Crossing the Street with Children
- Hold a child’s hand and make sure they are not carrying any belongings that can slow them down or be dropped.
- Encourage the child to be aware of hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement
- Teach children not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Other Tips for Keeping Safe While Crossing
- Never cross between parked cars.
- Try to cross at the street corner and walk in the crosswalks while still looking out for vehicles.
- If a car does not appear to be slowing down even if you have the signal to walk, do not cross until the car has passed.
- Yield to every car first and make sure approaching vehicles see you before entering the street.
- If wearing headphones, turn down the volume so you can hear traffic.
- Keep your head up. Avoid looking down at your phone or other distractions.
As a pedestrian, you have the right of way. Nevertheless, always obey pedestrian crossing signals and be mindful of traffic that may not have seen you.