Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pedestrians, Beware — and Share the Road, Too

As pedestrians, we need to be aware of traffic patterns.

As we to jog down the street or ride our bikes, we must be aware of changing traffic lights and the flow of both cars and other pedestrians that make up the traffic around us.

The crosswalk painted on the street does not automatically protect pedestrians nor guarantee them safe passage.

If you, as a pedestrian, are crossing the street and the cars perpendicular are moving on a green light, then those oncoming cars have the right-of-way.

If you, as a pedestrian, are walking on the sidewalk and you need to turn into the street, stop walking at the edge of the sidewalk and look at any approaching cars. Stopping at the edge of the sidewalk allows drivers to see you and to understand your intentions.

Pedestrians and drivers share one similar interest: they each want the other to be courteous, to share the road and to yield the right-of-way. However, it is very difficult for drivers to share the road safely with pedestrians when those pedestrians do not pay attention and, as a result, walk directly into traffic.

Finally, pedestrians should never assume the driver has seen her/him nor that the driver will stop.  Walking defensively is the only protection against drivers who don't — or won't — see you.  In a "fight" between a 150-pound walker and a two-ton vehicle, there are no winners.

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