Pedestrians and cyclists are everywhere during the milder months and stretching into even less favourable weather as people walk, jog, run, and ride bicycles for fitness and overall health and wellbeing. More and more they venture onto roads and highways where cars and trucks pose hazards.
Some drivers are courteous and move over to give room for people on the road to get safely by. But with distracted drivers everywhere, pedestrians and cyclists are in constant danger when on the road. Let’s be real; an accident is not always the fault of the driver. Pedestrians and cyclists must share the responsibility for their own safety by always being aware of where and what vehicles may be doing or about to do.
An important safety tip for pedestrians and drivers is to always make eye contact with each other.
Drivers of large trucks must always watch for road sharers and reduce speed when possible. Often, they are required to travel in cities and towns to make pickups or deliveries.
It’s an exercise in danger when they must share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. Large trucks cannot stop on a dime, especially when driving an eighty-thousand-pound rig. But things happen. A pedestrian may trip into the roadway, or a cyclist may encounter debris in their path and get knocked into the way of a truck. Truck drivers are constantly on the lookout to beware of a possible interaction with a person on the road. Likewise, people sharing the road need to be looking out for debris, sewer grates, crosswalks, and road signs to prevent incidents.
All drivers must obey speed limits, especially at crosswalks and school zones. Never let your guard down when travelling streets with parking on the sides. People sometimes hop out and try to cross, doors will open, and people will step into traffic. Accidents happen everywhere daily. Ensuing injuries may be life changing.
Slow pedestrians, especially seniors and those with handicaps, take longer than a normal traffic light signal to get across the street. Be patient and let them cross at their own speed. Avoid crowding them as some drivers do. Be especially courteous when those with vision problems who use white canes or are accompanied by a guide dog.
Nowadays distracted driving is only part of the problem. Pedestrians with phones are a relatively new danger. They can be so distracted as to step into traffic without knowing it, and drivers must always be on their guard to avoid an incident. Be wary of people wearing headphones; they can’t hear the traffic.
Other hazards are wearing dark clothing at or after nightfall, as are people on scooters or roller blades. Drivers must always be vigilant. Take extra care when turning at a crosswalk, especially with a large truck making a tight right turn. Don’t let your trailer tandems reach over the curb onto the sidewalk.
When driving through agricultural regions, watch for slow moving farm equipment or horse drawn carriages on the road. Remember those farmers help feed us. Display courtesy and patience as they go about their work; they never travel far. Be sure to stay alert if you pass through an area that employs migrant workers to tend the crops. Those workers may not be familiar with the area and often travel on foot or bicycle.
Above all, if people are sharing the road with large trucks, be mindful of the inability of a truck to make sudden moves such as swerving or stopping. Sharing the road means looking out for the other person. Let patience and courtesy reign. Happy and safe motoring to all as you share the road.