Letter: Traffic Safety

A month ago, I was hit by a truck while out for a run. I was obeying the traffic laws and crossing on a walk signal at a crosswalk. The experience got me thinking about traffic safety and how to improve it. We all know the laws and precautions, but they can become secondary to our focus. I’m the first to admit I haven’t always abided by the traffic safety laws (i.e., crossing where unmarked), but there are some small things everyone can keep in mind to improve pedestrian safety for all.
1.    Always utilize crosswalks, where available, and wait for the walk signal and then still double check.
2.   ALWAYS assume vehicles do not see you.  Many drivers are inattentive and all vehicles have blind spots.
3.    Try and see into vehicles, as you will often be able to see if the driver is paying attention… or not.  If you can see them, they can see you.
4.    Wear bright colored clothing when possible while running and/or walking on the roads.
5.    Run/walk facing traffic and stay on the sidewalks, wherever possible.
6.    If you are driving, come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs, and yield to pedestrians.
7.    When driving, be aware of your blind spots, including those on your front left and right (i.e., the “pillars”).
Being hit and/or hitting someone can happen in an instant, and can change lives forever. So often it’s avoidable and I hope my reminders help at least one person to be safer out on our roads.

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