Are You an Endangered Pedestrian?
I am out on the road often, either driving or on my bike, and I am shocked by the number of pedestrians who either run or walk with their backs to traffic. Many of them are also wearing earbuds.
This is absolutely the WRONG thing to do, and more than 20 times per day in America – it’s DEAD WRONG!
Pedestrian fatalities have been climbing at an alarming rate.
According to the GHSA (Governor’s Highway Safety Assn.) they exceeded 6500 in 2020 and preliminary statistics for 2021 lead to a projection of 7,495 (20.5 /day) https://bit.ly/3XGdUrK.
There are a variety of contributing factors, including miles driven, social conditions and even weather conditions. Many experts believe that the deadly habits of TWD (Texting While Driving) and TWC (Texting While Crossing) are significant factors in this unacceptable increase.
Here are 4 tips that can help keep you and your family safe:
1.When walking or running, ALWAYS FACE TRAFFIC.
It’s the law https://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/pedestrian.html (but it shouldn’t have to be)
2. Of course, if you’re on a bike, you MUST ride with traffic. If you don’t already have them, I strongly recommend a helmet, headlight, taillight and rear-view mirror.
3. Always wear either something reflective, or a blinker or carry a small flashlight from dusk until dawn. We tend to assume (incorrectly) that drivers can see us. Far too many times, THEY CANNOT!
4. PUT THE PHONE AWAY! Not only when you are driving, but also when you are walking (especially crossing the street) and if you ride a bike on the street. I see so many young kids out riding and watching their phones. As adults, we need to set a positive example for our kids and teach them that stuff happens on the road - and it happens FAST!
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Bob Ragazzo is a Certified Defensive Driving Instructor who trains thousands of drivers of all ages, each year in the "Mental Aspects of Driving."