Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians

16 Toronto pedestrians were struck by cars in a 48-hour period, according to a Toronto Star report.

According to Sgt. Tim Burrows, the spike in pedestrian injuries is due to a number of factors, including darker skies during rush hour, high winds, wet weather, and pedestrians keeping their heads down to brave the weather.

This spike in pedestrian injuries provides us an opportunity to remind both drivers and pedestrians of safety tips, courtesy of the Highway Safety Research Centre.

Tips For Drivers

  • You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere – even in places where they are not supposed to be found.
  • Pedestrians can be very hard to see – especially in bad weather or at night. You must keep a lookout and slow down if you can’t see clearly.
  • When entering a crosswalk area, drive slowly and be prepared to stop.

  • Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even if it is not marked. When you stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, stop well back so that drivers in the other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.
  • Do not overtake and pass other vehicles stopped for pedestrians.
  • 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.
  • Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are active.

Tips for Pedestrians

  • Be predictable.   Stay off highways and restricted zones. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
  • Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic (off of the road).
  • Make it easy for drivers to see you – dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material. It might be wise to carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
  • Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don’t count on them paying attention. Watch out – make eye contact to be sure they see you!
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

Patrick Brown


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