With the change in weather, accidents with pedestrians increase. Almost one in five people that are killed in car crashes in BC are pedestrians. Nearly 75% of accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections. On average 2400 pedestrians are injures and 58 are killed in car accidents each year in BC according to ICBC. Accidents involving pedestrians occur most often between 3:00 and 6:00 pm, on Fridays and in the fall and winter, most particularly in November, December and January. The top contributing factors identified by ICBC include driver distraction, driver’s failing to yield the right of way and weather. As a pedestrian then, how do you stay safe? ICBC has given the following tips for pedestrians:
- Always make eye contact with drivers and never assume that a driver has seen you;
- Remove your headphones and focus your full attention on what’s happening around you as drivers may not stop or obey traffic signals. Leave your phone alone;
- Be careful at intersections and watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic instead of scanning for you;
- Always cross at designated crosswalks – never mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and never cross once the signal has turned yellow or red;
- Wear reflective clothing or gear and flashlights to make it easier for drivers to see you in wet weather, at dusk and at night;
- On rural roads without sidewalks, make yourself visible and always walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming drivers.
ICBC has published a great guide on teaching your child had to be pedestrian safe. You can access it here.