I know many people that are afraid of flying. I also know people afraid of commuting by bike. And I even know a few people who are afraid of driving. (and plenty of people who hate driving in bad conditions!)… But I have certainly never met anyone afraid of walking! Have you? Walking seems like the simplest, safest mode of transportation out there, so it makes sense that no one would fear it. Yet, perhaps we should be a little more wary of walking — especially on busy roads! I don’t want to put unnecessary paranoia into anyone, but here’s a statistic
to put it all into perspective: In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in accidents with motor vehicles, for a grand total of more than 12 people per day.
Fortunately, pedestrian fatalities are on the decline (unlike bicycle and motorcycle fatalities), but that could also be because less people are walking in general. And since walking is so good for your health, I think we should be going to a greater effort to make the roads safer for pedestrians! There are plenty of things drivers can be doing to avoid pedestrian accidents. Here are some facts to get you educated!
I recently read a very sad article
about how young pedestrian deaths double
on Halloween night, in comparison to other nights of the year. Since 1990, more than 115 children and teens have been hit by a car and killed on Halloween night.
Though that number may not seem like a huge amount for more than 20 years, the number is on the rise, and of course if it ever happened to someone you loved, that one death would be all that mattered.
I wanted to write this post to make sure we are all aware of the dangers and can spread the word to keep children (and adults!) safe this Halloween. People worry about unsafe candy or mischievous Halloween pranks, being safe while walking around the neighborhood is certainly the biggest concern. And one that we can easily have control of!
Here are a few tips on playing it safe this Halloween:
- Don’t let children go trick or treating alone, even if it’s still light outside
- Always use crosswalks to cross the street, and never let children run across the street by themselves
- Carry flashlights and use them going from house to house
- Wear reflective clothing, just as late-night bikers and pedestrians would any other night
- Make sure teens aren’t distracted by cell phones if they go out on their own
- Drive extra slow on Halloween night, and always double check intersections when making a turn
If we all follow these precautions, we’re sure to have a much safer and happier Halloween experience. Now go enjoy the ghosts and goblins of the night!
Once you have a friend or two that commutes by bike or motorcycle, or try it yourself, you realize what a different experience it is to be on the road with cars — and not be in a car yourself! There are so many accidents and deaths that happen every year because of carelessness on the part of drivers or bikers and motorcyclists.
I think the most effective way to create change is through education. So I’ve made a guide to sharing the road with all different types of vehicles! I will feature a guide to different types of vehicles on every post this week. And hopefully after this, you’ll feel much more comfortable on the road in any situation!
First up, let’s talk about biking. Fatalities by walking and bicycling are on the rise, while fatalities by driving a car are going down.
In 2012, more than two people per day died from a bike + car accident
in the United States. So let’s stop the trend, before biking or walking becomes more dangerous than driving! There’s no reason we can’t all share the road happily and safely.
Sharing the Road with Bikes
Bikers on the road definitely make me the most nervous, because they don’t always drive in the lane like motorcyclists, but they are still close enough to the road that it seems risky to go around them. Many bikers seem to make up their own rules of the road, weaving through traffic, listening to music and running stop signs. But knowing these habits makes me a more cautious driver and can prevent accidents. There are plenty of well-behaved bikers too, and the more I drive around them, the more comfortable I feel with the idea of sharing the road with bikes.
Check out the graphic below for some tips on how to responsibly drive around cyclists!