As we turn the calendar to October, I think it’s important for you to know the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated October as National Pedestrian Safety Month. This represents an opportunity to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
At some point in the day, we are all pedestrians – especially right now, when everyone wants to get outside for some fresh air. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring pedestrian safety. We must keep working to reduce pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes.
Whether in a parking lot, crosswalk or on a road, everyone is a pedestrian. In 2018, there were 6,283 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States, which accounted for 17 percent of all traffic deaths in 2018. This equates to a traffic-related pedestrian death every 84 minutes.
Tragically, in a crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is far more likely to be killed or injured.
Here are some pointers for keeping pedestrians safe across Lexington County:
• Slow down. During evening hours, you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.
• Keep in mind that pedestrians who are distracted by their phones, or wearing headphones might not hear your vehicle as it approaches.
• Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean. Make sure your defrosters and windshield wipers are working properly and that washer fluid is replaced as needed.
• Carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials – such as fluorescent tape – to clothing, backpacks, purses and briefcases. These materials reflect light from headlights back to drivers, making it easier to see you.
• Don’t depend on the traffic signal to protect you. Drivers might be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.
• Just because you can see a motorist does not mean he or she can see you. If you cannot make eye contact or do not see the driver slow down for you, just wait until the vehicle
passes, even if you have the right of way. If you have multiple lanes to cross, slow and watch for traffic at each lane.
• Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles. Crosswalks are a safer alternative.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If you must walk on the street, walk facing traffic.