November is one of the most dangerous months for pedestrians. The darker, wet days create difficult driving conditions, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians. Unfortunately, in crash incidents involving pedestrians and motorists, it is the pedestrian who suffers – often with tragic results.
Walking across the street may seem like an easy task but current police reports indicate that in 2006, over 65 pedestrians were killed and 2,500 pedestrians were injured in crashes on B.C. roads. That same year in the Lower Mainland, police reported nearly 1,800 injuries and 40 fatalities in pedestrian-related crashes.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street to ensure you are seen.
- Use designated crossing points and obey pedestrian traffic signs.
- Wear bright-colored clothing or carry reflective articles, especially when walking at night.
- Always be cautious and pay attention to traffic, as drivers may sometimes disobey traffic signals or not stop.
- Look left, right and left again before stepping off the curb.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Always yield to pedestrians.
- Be aware of pedestrians who appear indecisive or inattentive.
- Be alert to vehicles stopped in the lane next to yours. They may be yielding for a pedestrian.
- Be aware of pedestrians still attempting to cross the street on a flashing orange pedestrian signal.
- Watch out for pedestrians when backing up your vehicle.
- Always be alert for pedestrians, especially at intersections.
To demonstrate the importance of wearing bright and reflective clothing, the Autoplan brokers have produced a short video featuring an “invisibly dressed” pedestrian dummy that is struck by a car travelling at 50 km/h and 70 km/h at night. The video can be viewed online at www.roadsafety.ca or www.icbc.com.