Hot summer temperatures mean that more people are outside enjoying activities. Sports, bicycling and even walking are popular near residential areas. Driving can be more hazardous in the summer than you may imagine.
People need to be on the lookout for one another in order for everyone to stay safe. When you slip behind the wheel in Charlotte or elsewhere this summer, keep in mind that you may be seeing more people out and about and this often means altering your driving habits.
It’s not only drivers that need to be cautious. People on their feet and those on two wheels need to be careful as well. Safety is often a team effort. Here are some tips for both drivers and pedestrians that will keep everyone able to participate in their lives as normal.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Stay Aware
Keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians. Look for kids on bikes, people walking and little ones playing in front yards.
If you see children playing by the street, be prepared to stop. Kids can be unpredictable and, despite being told by parents to stay away from the road, children can dart out in front of a vehicle unexpectedly.
- Pay Attention to the Elderly
If you see an elderly person on a sidewalk or in the street, slow down. An aging person may have difficulty seeing and hearing adequately and may not be aware of your presence.
Always attempt to make eye contact with an elderly person before you pass them to be sure that they see you.
- Don’t Assume
Assuming anything regarding pedestrians can be a mistake. Don’t assume pedestrians will follow the rules of the road or obey traffic signals.
Don’t assume that they see you. Don’t assume that they will remain on the sidewalk. Be prepared for the unexpected.
- Use Caution When Reversing
Always look in your rearview and utilize your back-up camera if you have one. Look around your vehicle before you get in it. Back out of your driveway or parking space slowly and carefully.
- Look Before You Open Your Door
If you park on a city street, look in your blind spot and behind you before you open your door. Too many people have been injured because a vehicle’s driver opens a door unexpectedly and right into the path of a bicyclist.
- Don’t Rest at Night
People stay up late when the weather is warm. In fact, people are more apt to wait out the heat of the day and walk or cycle at dusk and in the dark when it is cooler.
Don’t make the mistake of letting your guard down when the sun sets. Look for reflective materials when you are driving, especially ahead of you and along the side of the road. Also drive with the knowledge that even though it isn’t safe, some pedestrians, runners and bike riders are not always going to wear reflective clothing and in some cases they may even be wearing dark clothing that is hard to see at night.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Keep Your Eyes Up
Chances are you know that texting and driving is against the law. It may not be illegal to use your cell phone and walk, but it’s rarely a good idea.
Put your phone in your pocket and keep your eyes up. Pay attention to your route and stay on the lookout for vehicles and cyclists.
- Make Eye Contact
Don’t assume that a vehicle is going to stop or yield to you, even if you are in a marked crosswalk. Make eye contact with drivers before you step into the street.
When you make eye contact, the driver may even wave for you to go. Don’t take a chance, make sure that the driver sees you before entering the intersection.
- Hold Hands
Small children should not be allowed to walk or cross streets by themselves.
If you are walking with your child on the sidewalk, you stay on the outside closest to the street and hold their hand for additional safety.
- Wear the Right Clothes
Don’t walk at night wearing dark clothing. In fact, don’t walk during the day wearing dark clothing. Light, bright colors will help to make you visible.
You can increase your visibility by attaching reflective tape to your back and chest. If you are walking after dark, carry a flashlight or glow stick. You can even carry a backpack and attach a small, blinking light to it.
- Use the Buddy System
Find someone to walk with. The more people you have in your group, the more likely you are to be spotted. The same goes for those riding bikes. Ride in groups. A vehicle driver is more likely to see multiple people than a single person.
The summer weather makes it great to get out and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, but it also means that you may be at a heightened risk of being involved in an accident. Follow the tips above whether you are a driver or a pedestrian. Doing so could save someone’s life.
Speak to a Charlotte, North Carolina Accident Attorney Today
If you are injured as a pedestrian in an accident, reach out to our experienced car and truck accident team. We can review the details of your accident during a free case evaluation and help you determine how we may be able to help you.
You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you’ve incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call our office at (704) 364-3361 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.