Interactions between drivers and pedestrians can be difficult to manage, and in worst-case scenarios, they can be dangerous or downright deadly. While pedestrians need to remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times while they’re on the streets, drivers also have an important role to play.
Predicting pedestrian behaviour is a very important skill, particularly in our hyper-connected age which sees people constantly multitasking with handheld devices.
Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians have been on the rise in Calgary for four years running. Here’s a look at the reported trends:
- 2011 saw 511 collisions between vehicles and pedestrians
- 2012 saw 537 such incidents
- 2013 saw 548 such incidents
- The year-over-year trend for 2014 has continued to outpace the previous year’s rate
If you’re involved in an at-fault accident, it will have a negative impact on your car insurance in Calgary as you can expect it to trigger an increase in your premiums. More importantly, your decisions behind the wheel could save someone’s life, so take a moment to brush up on your pedestrian safety skills.
Pedestrian Safety for Drivers
Drivers can do a lot to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Always be sure to follow these best practices:
- Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Never cut pedestrians off to sneak in a quick turn, even if they’re still on the far half of the road. It’s discourteous, against the law, and also puts both you and the pedestrian at risk. If there are people crossing the street, wait until they have cleared the intersection before completing your turn.
- Keep your eyes on traffic ahead of you. As you scan the road, watch for turning vehicles that are slowing down or stopping at intersections. This likely indicates that there is a pedestrian crossing the street. Knowing that someone is there will help you anticipate what might happen when you reach the intersection yourself.
- Beware of jaywalkers. While pedestrians shouldn’t jaywalk, the reality is that people do it all the time. If you spot a jaywalker or a would-be jaywalker, reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop. Even though you have the right of way, it won’t matter much in the event of a tragic collision.
- Be mindful of other drivers’ sight lines. If you don’t leave enough room between your vehicle and the car in front of you, you might be obscuring the view of the intersection for drivers behind you. This could put pedestrians at risk, as turning vehicles to your rear might not realize people are crossing the street.
Of course, it’s also important to practice sound pedestrian safety when you’re walking. Here are some important tips to remember:
- Always cross the street cautiously. Whenever possible, make eye contact with drivers waiting to turn in the intersection so you’re certain that they see you.
- Remain alert whenever you are approaching a curb or an intersection. Don’t talk or text while crossing the street.
- Always use pedestrian crossings. Don’t jaywalk, and never make erratic or unexpected forays into the street.
- Cross as quickly as possible. Do not start to cross if the pedestrian signal is flashing red.
- If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the road, always walk facing traffic so you can make eye contact with passing motorists. Stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Be as visible as possible.
If you’re walking in a parking lot or a residential street, watch for reversing motorists. Their rear visibility is likely diminished, so be proactive about protecting yourself.
Of course, keeping pedestrians safe – and keeping your car insurance in Calgary as low as possible – also requires that you avoid distracted driving. Never use handheld devices while driving for any reason, keep music to moderate levels, and always watch the road.
Finally, be courteous when you’re riding your bicycle. Observe all the same rules that apply to cars, and avoid riding on sidewalks. Make sure your bike has a bell, so you can warn other people about your impending approach as you come up behind them.
Car Insurance Calgary: Important Resources from Lane’s Insurance
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