Public Safety Awareness

Pedestrian Safety Tips


The holiday break is now over and a new year has begun, sending children and teens back to school and resuming the normal flow of morning and rush hour traffic for the workforce. Unfortunately, this means that potentially dangerous situations for pedestrians have also resumed, especially now that weather related accidents are more common thanks to icy or snow-covered roads. Pedestrians include children walking to and from school or being pushed in a stroller and anyone walking, jogging or traveling by bicycle or wheelchair along roadways.

According to the CDC an average of 445 pedestrians per day are treated in an emergency medical facility for traffic related injuries. For anyone traveling on foot, this quite an alarming number but luckily there are some simple safety tips to keep in mind when walking near roadways to help ensure maximum safety.

  • Always cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection. Many J-walking laws exist as a way of protecting pedestrians from the hazards of crossing roads incorrectly.
  • At nighttime you should attempt to increase your visibility by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective accessories or clothing so drivers can see you more clearly.
  • Stick to sidewalks whenever possible but if they are not available, always walk on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic.
  • If you are driving, you can do your part by staying especially alert for walkers, runners or bikers while in neighborhoods or school zones. Never look at your mobile devices, make a phone call or text while driving.

Teaching children about pedestrian safety is critical. Because of their smaller stature and inexperience with traffic rules and automobile speeds they are much more susceptible to injury or death from traffic accidents as pedestrians. Here are a few important points on safe walking that can help every child stay safe and injury-free outside of the home.

  • Teach children that it is important to walk on sidewalks or paths and only cross streets at corners where there are crosswalks. They should be taught how to read and use walking and traffic signals at stoplights as well.
  • Children and teens should learn the importance of staying alert and not looking at their mobile or gaming devises while walking.
  • It’s important that children remember to always first look left, then right and then left again before finally crossing the street.
  • Since it is difficult for very young children to judge speed and distances for automobiles they should always cross the street with an adult. No child is the same developmentally but 10 years of age and younger is good general grouping for children who should wait for an adult.
  • Remind kids to watch out for cars that may be turning or backing up in their direction and stay extra alert when walking by driveways where a car could be backing out.

    Let’s all make a mental note to keep these important tips in mind whenever we either a pedestrian or a driver and start making needless accidents a thing of the past.


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