Drivers And Pedestrians

The United Kingdom ranks fifth best out of 24 OECD countries for road deaths per head of population. However, not all is good news as we rank only 11th for pedestrian deaths and 17th for child pedestrian deaths. In contrast, the UK has the fourth lowest cyclist deaths.

Many of these pedestrian fatalities may be prevented through the application of some basic principles. These are as follows:

  1. Be aware that many dwellings are situated alongside main roads and that most places there are no formal points of crossing or pedestrian bridges.
  2. Control your speed especially in built up areas but be prepared to slow down even more. According to statistics, a pedestrian has an 85 per cent chance of death when involved in a motor-vehicle collision at 40mph, a 45 per cent chance of death at 30mph and a five per cent chance of death at 20mph.
  3. Do not assume that you have been seen.
  4. Be on the lookout for small children
  5. Avoid passing vehicles in built up areas, especially in hazardous driving conditions such as heavy rain or night driving.
  6. If visibility is bad, slow down – avoid driving when your vision is impaired either by strong rain or the blinding headlights of approaching vehicles.
  7. Be on the lookout for pedestrians walking at the side of the road with their backs towards you.
  8. Be aware of intoxicated pedestrians – especially over weekends and in built up areas.
  9. Be careful near bus stops or taxi ranks – passengers might suddenly decide to cross the road
  10. Always be ready for the unexpected

Things To Remember As A Driver:

  1. You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere – even in places where they are not supposed to be found.
  2. Pedestrians can be very hard to see – especially in dark clothing in bad weather or at night. You must keep a lookout and slow down if you can’t see clearly.
  3. Stop for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings make sure you stop well back so that drivers can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.
  4. Cars stopped in the street may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. Do not pass if there is any doubt.
  5. Don’t assume that pedestrians see you or that they will act predictably. They may be physically or mentally impaired.
  6. When you are turning, you often will have to wait for a ‘gap’ in traffic. Beware that while you are watching for that ‘gap’, pedestrians may have moved into your intended path. Don’t run someone down.
  7. Be especially attentive around schools and in built up residential areas where children are active. Drive there like you would like people to drive in front of your own home.

What Can Pedestrians Do To Avoid An Accident:

  1. You should always be aware of traffic and anything else in your surroundings.
  2. If at all possible try to minimize any time that is spent walking in congested areas when it is dark. If you must walk at night, wear light clothing and preferably a type of reflective vest. If you don’t have anything reflective to wear, try to at least carry a flash light in your hand to make it easier for drivers to see you.
  3. When walking through areas with a substantial amount of traffic stick to the well known pedestrian routes and areas that are properly marked.
  4. Use pedestrian crossings where available
  5. If you must cross the road at some other place, pay special attention to the traffic. Take into account any other factors such as trees and brush that may make it difficult for drivers to see you stepping out into the road. Sometimes a driver may not be able to see you about to step out onto the road because their vision is blocked by an object or natural surrounding.
  6. Never assume that the vehicle approaching is stopping to let you cross. A vehicle may be appearing to slow down but they may not notice you at all
  7. One of the most obvious ways to avoid a pedestrian accident is to use footpaths. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised at the number pedestrian accidents that occur simply as a result of pedestrians choosing to walk in the road when there is a perfectly good footpath a few feet away.
  8. If you have been drinking, do not walk home, call a taxi.

How Else Can Drivers Avoid Pedestrian Accidents:

  1. The best way to avoid pedestrian accidents is to understand that ‘defensive driving’ means being wary of people who walk. Pay particular attention to young children and older adults. These individuals may be less aware of drivers on the road. They may not pay attention to traffic signals.
  2. It is important to remember that individuals who are not in a motor vehicle and are in the road are extremely vulnerable and more likely to be seriously injured than a driver. If you take care to give pedestrians notice, room, and time to move out of your path, you may be able to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Remember That Car Parks And Garages Are Dangerous Places For Pedestrians:

  1. Always watch out for pedestrians
  2. Take care pulling out of spaces
  3. Take care reversing, make sure you can see behind you
  4. Look out for pedestrians walking out between parked cars
  5. Never assume that pedestrians see you
  6. Reduce your speed
  7. Don’t cut across parking spaces

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I confirm I have read the fact sheet ‘Drivers And Pedestrians’

Signed…………………………………………………………………………………Date…………………………………….

Name of Driver……………………………………………………………………Vehicle Reg………………………..