Be aware of pedestrians
April 21, 2015
With the approaching summer months, more people will opt to walk or bike instead of drive. This means more pedestrians will be crossing the road, and drivers must have a heightened awareness of this. According to Nolo, drivers can be accountable for both civil and criminal liability if they hit a pedestrian, which could raise auto insurance rates. In order to avoid any car insurance trouble and keep the roads safe for walking commuters, be aware of situations that are riskier.
This summer, make sure you're extra aware of pedestrians.
Left turns are a hot spot for pedestrian incidents. Researchers from Oregon State University and Portland State University conducted a study in which they analyzed the behavior and eye movements of participants in a driving simulator. The research looked specifically at how drivers reacted to pedestrians. According to the study, drivers turning left were concentrating more on oncoming traffic than on pedestrians crossing the perpendicular street, though lights with green-arrow-only left turns proved to be safer for pedestrians.
A way for the driver to combat this issue is to simply be aware. Yes, having a left-turn light for every intersection would be helpful, but drivers have to make do with the current situation. Keep an eye on oncoming traffic, but also double check if there are pedestrians present in the crosswalk or about to enter it.
With summer comes lots of rain storms, which can increase risk for pedestrian incidents. This is especially true for parking lots. When it's rainy, not only is your visibility decreased, but people are usually in a rush to get indoors and might dart out in front of cars trying to park. If you're driving in a parking lot, be on the lookout for pedestrians running for cover.
Pedestrians with cellphones
Distracted driving is a well-known roadway problem, but what about distracted walking? According to The Washington Post, pedestrians distracted by their phone are more vulnerable to accidents. Whether they're texting, listening to music or making a phone call, those walkers are more likely to not notice what's around them, making them more likely to walk out, or even accidentally trip into traffic. Kids walking to school are especially susceptible to this problem.
For drivers, it's vital to always be aware of your surroundings. Pedestrians should be alert as well, but if an accident happens, they're more likely to be seriously injured than the driver. Therefore, a lot of that safety responsibility falls on motorists.