Face it: You're a kid without a car. This means you
probably do a lot of walking to get where you need to go. This means you
are a pedestrian. Walking may seem like the easiest, most natural thing in
the world, but it can be dangerous.
Did you know that each year, cars, trucks and buses kill almost 6,000
pedestrians? Sixteen people are hit and killed each day somewhere in the
United States. By using common sense, pedestrians and drivers can help
prevent death and injury. Below are some tips to help you walk smart and a
few ways drivers can help keep you safe:
Getting off on the right foot
- Cross at crosswalks. If there is no crosswalk, go to
the corner to cross. Never cross in the middle of the block.
- Give drivers enough time to stop before you step into
the crosswalk. Just because the crosswalk gives you the OK, that does
not mean the driver has seen you enter the crosswalk.
- When walking at night, wear light-colored or
reflective clothes that will make it easier for drivers to see you.
- Carry a small flashlight with you when walking at
- Before stepping off the curb, look left-right-left,
and listen for oncoming traffic. Do not simply depend on traffic
signals to tell you when it's clear to walk. Look before you step into
- Do not cross from between parked vehicles.
- If there is a sidewalk, use it. Do not walk in the
street. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far out of
the street as you can get.
- Keep an eye on the traffic at all times. Do not block
your view with backpacks, books, hats or other items.
For those in the driver's seat
- Always come to a full stop behind the white limit
line at crosswalk, signals and stop signs. In an unmarked intersection
or crosswalk, stop at the corner. Do not go until you have made sure
there is no one in the crosswalk.
- Do not pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.
- Wait for the person crossing to reach the other side
of the crosswalk before you go.
- Make sure to keep all car windows clean, inside and
out, so you can clearly see what is in front, to the side and behind
- Keep your car's headlights clean so people can see
- Never wear sunglasses once it starts to get dark.
- Never speed, especially in areas where people live
and near schools during normal school hours.
- Be aware of other drivers when using your high beams
- At night, adjust the rearview mirror to the
"night" setting to avoid glare from the headlights of cars
- Watch for people who may dart out from behind parked
vehicles, especially children.
- By law, drivers must stop for anyone using a guide
dog or a white cane whether in or out of a crosswalk. Only blind, or
nearly blind, people are allowed to use guide dogs or white canes.