No driver ever wants to hit a pedestrian, but these accidents still happen. Every road user, including drivers and pedestrians, must play their roles to reduce the risks of car-pedestrian accidents. As a motorist, below are some of the things you can do to be safe when sharing the road with pedestrians.
Know Where to Show Extra Care
Some sections of the road will have more pedestrians than others. Examples include sections of the road near parks, crosswalks, school zones, and residential areas. Slow down, show extra care, and be extra vigilant around such areas. You should especially be extra careful with children since they don't have as good judgment as adults.
Avoid the Sidewalks
Avoid the sidewalks since they are meant for the exclusive use of pedestrians. If you have to be on the sidewalks, for example, to exit or enter a driveway, don't linger on it. The pedestrians don't expect you there, and you can easily hit them.
Expect Some Blind or Deaf Pedestrians
Don't assume that every road user can see or hear you. Someone might be looking in your direction but not seeing you at all due to distractions. There are also blind pedestrians who can't see you and deaf pedestrians who can't hear you. Even pedestrians with good hearing abilities might not hear you if you are driving an electric car. Therefore, take care to avoid pedestrians; don't assume that they will give way.
Give Way Whenever Necessary
Learn to give way to pedestrians even if you are in a hurry. This is true everywhere, but it is particularly crucial at the crosswalks and sidewalks. Even if a pedestrian crosses your path at an illegal spot, it's best for everyone concerned if you let them finish crossing before proceeding.
Never Stop On and Crosswalks
When you stop on a crosswalk, you block the path for pedestrians who wanted to cross at the spot. The pedestrians then have to use an alternative path, which might be dangerous for them. Also, don't overtake a car stopped at a crosswalk even if you can't see the pedestrian they have stopped for; you might hit the pedestrian. Wait until the pedestrian crossing and the car in front starts moving.
Show Extra Care to Vulnerable Demographics
Not every pedestrian will walk or cross the road at the same pace. Children, the elderly, wheelchair users, and other people with disabilities may take more time than usual. Give these vulnerable people ample time to cross the road.
Hopefully, you won't hit a pedestrian any time soon. If you do get involved in such an accident, don't assume that you are at fault since you are a motorist. There are cases where pedestrians (or other third-parties) are liable for auto accidents. Treat the accident just as you would treat any other accident. To ensure that you are prepared in the event of an accident, talk to companies like GMI Get Me Insured about auto insurance.
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