Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.

Legs of Pedestrians in a CrosswalkPedestrian safety is everybody’s responsibility. After all, we are all pedestrians at some point throughout the day, whether walking to work or walking through a parking lot to get into a car. Study and remember these pedestrian safety tips for drivers.

The 7 Deadly Driving Sins You Should Avoid to Keep Pedestrians Safe

  1. Speeding. You have heard the phrase, “speed kills.” The faster a car is traveling when it strikes a pedestrian, the more likely the pedestrian will die from his injuries. Also, a fast-moving car needs a longer distance to stop. And if your vehicle is moving at a reasonable speed, the pedestrian will have more time to see you and step out of harm’s way. You should reduce your speed especially when driving around school zones, bus stops, parks, and anywhere that people gather.
  2. Not anticipating inattentive pedestrians. Even though pedestrians should not step out into the path of moving vehicles, we all know that sometimes they do. Some blame cell phones and mobile devices, as people often walk not looking where they are going because they are using their mobile device; but before cell phones, people did the same thing while reading newspapers or otherwise distracted by something other than the roadway in front of them. The blame game does not change the behavior, so until people modify their ways, be mindful of distracted pedestrians.
  3. Crosswalks. Although the purpose of crosswalks is to keep pedestrians safe, this concept only works when everyone understands the rules that apply to crosswalks. You must come to a complete stop behind the crosswalk. Do not block any of the crosswalk, as that will force pedestrians to step into the intersection. Wait until the pedestrians clear the street and step onto the sidewalk before driving through the crosswalk. And anticipate that some pedestrians will mistakenly think they have the absolute right of way in a crosswalk, regardless of the stoplights and electronic signals.
  4. Blocked view. Be extra vigilant when things like large vehicles, signs, shrubs, and construction work obstruct your view. It will be harder to see pedestrians, and they may have to step out into the street to see if there is oncoming traffic. You may have to brake suddenly to prevent hitting a pedestrian, and driving slowly could mean the difference in whether you strike someone or not.
  5. Slick roads. Roads in Washington state can get slippery from rain, snow, and ice. We know we should slow down on slick roads to avoid colliding with other vehicles, but there is another compelling reason to reduce your speed. If you go into a slide or skid on a wet or icy surface, you could slam into a pedestrian. Many people have to commute on foot, regardless of the road conditions, so be mindful when the weather affects the roads.
  6. Distracted driving. Put down the cell phone and other mobile devices when driving. If you are texting, you might not see a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Ask anyone who has taken the life of another person because of driving while distracted, and you will learn that they would give anything to go back in time so they could undo the wrong. Let your passengers change the radio station or adjust the navigation, or do this yourself before you start driving.
  7. Drugs and alcohol. When you drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you are less able to avoid hitting a pedestrian than when you are sober. You already know not to drink or use street drugs and drive. Less publicized is the caution that you should not operate a vehicle when taking prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal remedies if they make you groggy, sleepy, dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, or feverish, or if they make your thinking cloudy or your heart race.

Follow these seven tips and you will reduce your risk of a collision with a pedestrian.

At Max Meyers Law PLLC, we focus our practice exclusively on transportation-related accident claims. If you suffered injuries in an accident that was not your fault, call our team at 425-242-5595 today, and we will set up your free consultation.

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