Preventing Accidents: Pedestrian Safety Tips

Written by: John McLeish

Pedestrian accidents continue to be an unfortunate, and often preventable, reality on our streets. A personal injury lawyer in Toronto sees every day that pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to severe injuries that can cause lifelong disability or death.

Children are especially at risk because they are less visible, and usually less educated on how to safely walk, cycle, and cross the street. In fact, kids between 10 and 14 have the highest incidence of pedestrian-related injuries, and kids from five to 14 are at the greatest risk of dying from their injuries.

Here are some pedestrian safety tips to consider while walking, running, and cycling this summer:

  • Cross only at intersections. Never cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars, where it is difficult for drivers to see you.
  • Recognize and follow traffic crossing signals. Make sure to look, and listen for cars even when the signal says that you can walk.
  • Be mindful of driveways and alleys.
  • Walk or run on streets with sidewalks if possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far away from the road as you can.
  • Model safe behaviour for your children by practicing safe pedestrian habits, including wearing a helmet while cycling.
  • Ensure that older children and teenagers understand the danger of talking and texting while on the street and that cell phones are always put away.
  • Practice judging the speed of oncoming cars. Always wait if you are unsure if there is enough time to safely cross the street.
  • Dress in bright clothing to be seen while cycling. If cycling at night, be sure to wear reflective clothing and use lights on your bike.
  • Ride bicycles 1 metre from the road in a straight line. Look well ahead to avoid hazards such as potholes, sewer greats and debris.
  • Shoulder check and signal before turning or changing lanes while cycling.
  • Make sure all children wear a helmet while biking; it is the law for children under 18.

Tips courtesy of Parachute Canada and Toronto Police Services

John Mcleish

John Mcleish

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