As a pedestrian, there’s always that fear that we might be run over by a car.
As we cross the street, we fear an errant driver who can’t stop in time or a motorcycle going far too fast. And as we walk along the sidewalk, we are on alert for sounds of a collision that may well shoot a tricycle or a car in our direction.
Facing facts, the streets of any metropolis are dangerous for pedestrians.
Looking at it from a driver’s point of view, however, and some pedestrians might not be aware enough of their surroundings to know where you are.
So what do you do? How do you minimize the risk of running over a pedestrian?
One of the scenarios used in almost all driving lessons is the child running after a toy ball.
You’re driving through a two-lane street. Each side of the street is lined with parked cars and you’re looking for a space too so you can join your friends for coffee.
Suddenly, a basketball crosses your path and, before you can comprehend it, a child has run out into the street.
The first instinct you should develop is that whenever anything crosses your path, whether it’s a pedestrian or otherwide, is to quickly come to a stop and assess the situation.
Chances are, while you’re still assessing, the kid will get the ball and run back down the other side of the street. If not, make sure to check on the child first, who might be terrified of his or her near-death experience.
Scan your surroundings
Another useful tip is to always pay attention to the road ahead.
Stay off your smartphone and try to keep the radio volume down –sometimes, even if we can’t see a potential hazard yet, we can hear it.
And try to keep an eye on the sidewalk. Make a mental note of the pedestrians on it, any open gates or doors and the like.
Knowing your surroundings and being mentally prepared for the worst will help you safely navigate even the narrowest of residential streets.
Finally, giving pedestrians a wide berth – one meter from the sidewalk and 1.5 meters if they’re walking on the shoulder – is part of keeping an eye on them as well, so keeping that in mind is a good idea too.
Lastly, and quite obviously, stick to the speed limit.
The biggest reason for speed limits is safety and going over them is not only reckless, but it can also be fatal in residential zones. Even if brakes nowadays are very strong, it shouldn’t be an excuse to speed.
Being a safe driver can sometimes be difficult to do, but it has to be done. Keeping these tips in mind can at least make it a little easier.
Source: ‘I’m walking here!’ Keeping pedestrians safe while you’re driving