Drivers and pedestrians must work together to stay safe
Throughout Tennessee, individuals choose to walk to their destinations rather than driving. This is largely due to the pleasant weather, beautiful scenery and a desire to explore a healthy option. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries that could last a lifetime.
In these situations, safety does not rest solely on one group’s shoulders. Drivers and pedestrians alike must remain aware and cautious while working to reduce vehicle collisions and ensuring everyone reaches their destination safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides tips and guidance for motorists and drivers to remember. Here are three tips for each.
Tips for pedestrians
- Never take for granted that a driver can see you: You should always wear bright clothing in the dark and stay within designated pedestrian areas at all times. Never assume the driver can see you when crossing the road.
- Be aware of traffic patterns: When you are forced to walk along the street (if no sidewalk is available, if there is construction or if the sidewalk is blocked by traffic), make sure to walk facing oncoming vehicles. This way you can react quickly if a car begins to swerve into your path.
- Avoid distractions at all times: This is generally a tip for both pedestrians and drivers, but pedestrians might be more tempted by distractions thinking they are safe. Unfortunately, cell phone use, eating, personal grooming or taking selfies while walking can lead to dangerous accidents.
Tips for drivers
- Watch for pedestrians at all times: While there are likely designated crosswalks, don’t assume that pedestrians will always use them. A pedestrian might attempt to cross the street right in front of you.
- Be cautious about passing stopped vehicles in traffic: It is possible they are stopped to avoid a pedestrian you cannot see. Slowly ease around the stopped vehicle until you are sure there is no danger.
- Drive alert at all times: This means avoiding distractions such as eating, drinking and texting as well as avoiding drug and alcohol use. Additionally, you should be aware that many prescription medications carry the warnings about driving while under their influence.
Whether you are in a car or walking along the road, it is crucial that you pay attention to your surroundings. It takes both parties to prevent serious accidents with devastating consequences.