Safety Advice for Motorists and Pedestrians

Crosswalk signs outnumber the pedestrians in downtown Portland, Maine, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

MOTORISTS

— October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. Yield for pedestrians.

— Put the phone down and watch out for pedestrians. Sending or reading a short text takes your eyes off the road for almost five seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

— RETHINK how you drive. Behind the wheel, are you: Alert and focused? Looking out for people walking? Obeying all posted signs and speed limits?

— Driving a few miles over the speed limit might not feel like a big deal, but in a collision with a pedestrian, it can be the difference between life and death.

— In 2021, pedestrians who died in single-vehicle crashes were most likely to be struck by the front of the vehicle.

— Do not block crosswalks when you stop at intersections.

— Take extra care while driving around schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods.

— Avoid alcohol and drugs when driving; they impair your abilities and your judgment.

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Related story: National Pedestrian Safety Month: Death rates high in Arkansas, Texas

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PEDESTRIANS

— Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

— Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far to the side of the road as possible.

— Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right. If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.

— Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.

— Remember: alcohol and drugs can impair your abilities and your judgment.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration