When school is about to start you always hear reminders about slowing down in school zones and watching out for children walking to school. But, drivers also need to be careful when kids are out of school for the summer. The kids are still there. They are just in different locations, like your neighborhood.
And, don’t forget some kids will be attending summer school, so you still need to be careful in school zones.
Below you will find some useful tips for drivers and pedestrians. By far the most important safety tip for parents impart to their children is to always walk facing traffic. In a majority of cases where pedestrians are struck walking along a street or road, most are hit from behind and never saw it coming.
Facing traffic while walking is especially important where there are no sidewalks. But, even if there is a sidewalk it’s always safer to walk facing the oncoming traffic. This allows your child to see what’s coming and gives them time to react if a vehicle loses control and veers in their direction.
Important Safety Reminders
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when one is available. If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic. This allows you to see what’s coming and gives you a chance to react. Accident statistics show that 2/3 of pedestrians struck while walking alongside a road are hit from behind.
- Stay alert. Don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including smartphones, MP3 players, or anything that takes your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not see you).
- Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Be predictable. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections when possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians. If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Remember that with more electric cars on the streets these days, you cannot hear them coming. You must always LOOK for traffic.
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should or may be hard to see—especially in poorly lit conditions, including dusk/dawn/night and bad weather.
- Always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They may be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Slow down and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit; slow down around pedestrians.
- Stay focused and slow down where children may be present, like