Making a Safer Road for Pedestrians: What Should Be Done?
It is common knowledge that living in a big city can be pretty fast-paced. These areas are packed with people who are often busy. Everyone is always going somewhere. And the roads and sidewalks are typically filled with people. This population density makes urban areas a breeding ground for almost any type of activity.
Of course, cities and metropolises have transportation systems that ensure the public’s needs for travel. Despite this, it can be expected for highly urbanized areas to have pedestrians. These are citizens who choose to travel by foot, often found in sidewalks and crosswalks.
Pedestrians Are Constantly in Danger
It may not seem like it, but being a pedestrian can still be dangerous. Note that streets and roads are full of vehicular activity. It is even estimated that around 1.3 million people lose their lives each year due to traffic accidents. Pedestrians can easily be caught in the thick of these accidents. In 2017, approximately 137,000 pedestrians suffered injuries from car-related incidents.
While pedestrians are in the way of danger, there is always something that can be done to ensure their safety. Of course, one can never go wrong in consulting a personal injury lawyer when these incidents happen. But besides that, there are many preventive measures that we can take to strengthen pedestrian safety in urban areas.
Becoming a Safe Driver
The best way to protect pedestrians is in the hand of drivers of motorists. More than half of traffic accidents casualties involve vulnerable users of the road. If drivers uphold safe and defensive driving, they can significantly make the streets safer.
This means that drivers should take steps towards becoming safe drivers. For one, they should follow driving laws and road regulations. There are reasons why these rules are put in place. And road safety is one of them.
Driving is a task that needs intense focus. One of the biggest reasons for road accidents is distracted driving. Being distracted while operating a motor vehicle can seriously endanger the lives of the passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers nearby. Apart from that, no one should drive intoxicated. Reckless driving should also be out of the equation.
Drivers may now know it, but avoiding bad driving habits can save peoples’ lives, including their own. Everyone should follow these laws and regulations not because they want to avoid a ticket but because they want the roads to be safer for every user.
Being a Responsible Pedestrian
There are also times when pedestrians have control over their safety. They should recognize that anything can happen when they are on a sidewalk. And they should be cautious about their safety when outside. This means that pedestrians should always be aware of their surroundings when they are using the sidewalks.
Similar to drivers, pedestrians also have to follow specific rules that are meant for their safety. This includes crossing the road in designated crosswalks and pedestrian lanes along the street. These crosswalks are intended to be used by pedestrians who need to cross the street.
Crossing a street at specific points can be dangerous. This is why crosswalks are created. It allows drivers to expect pedestrians, which prompts them to slow down. For roads that are too wide, footbridges are often built to make sure pedestrians cross safely.
Pedestrians should also practice safe habits when crossing the roads. They should not hasten when traveling. Apart from that, they should also make sure that there are no speeding vehicles when they strike. If cars are coming towards them as they cross, they should communicate with the driver through hand gestures.
They should not cross roads suddenly and without warning. This can spook drivers, which can prompt them to lose control over their vehicles. This can even disrupt the flow of traffic.
Not crossing the road at designated crosswalks is essentially jaywalking. This is a low-level offense in most cities but is still subject to fines. Doing this puts the lives of pedestrians and drivers in danger.
Creating a Friendly Environment for Pedestrians
Some roads are also not built with pedestrians in mind. These are the roads that are not essentially friendly for pedestrian use. This includes roads with no crosswalks or footbridges, narrow or non-existent sidewalks, and dim lighting.
These conditions make it easier for pedestrians to be in accidents. For this reason, local governments and city services should study how they can make a better environment for pedestrians. Developing streets for both drivers and pedestrians ensures the safety of both groups of road users.
Road safety begins with our mentality to keep everyone else safe. No matter how we use the roads, we have a hand in making them safe. If we keep our streets safe, we can ensure that everyone goes home safe and sound.