October is National Pedestrian Safety Month
In October, the United States Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will celebrate National Pedestrian Safety Month. States, local leaders, traffic safety professionals, transportation planners and engineers, other stakeholders, and concerned residents are invited to join us in helping to create a transportation system for all people to easily and safely walk.
Here are some ways you can help out:
- 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.
- Motorists: Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially near schools, parks, shopping areas and transit stops.
- Motorists should be on the lookout for child pedestrians who may move more slowly, and require more time to cross the street. Be especially cautious and alert for children on residential streets, near parks and playgrounds and in school zones.
- Watch for older adults and those who may have other challenges: Older adult pedestrians and those who use assistive devices such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs need more time crossing streets. Make sure you yield to all pedestrians and give extra time to those who may need it.
- Please drive with care: Buckle up, obey speed limits, focus on the driving task and drive sober. Lives depend on it.
- Speeding motorists endanger everyone on the road, but put pedestrians at the greatest risk for death or serious injury.
- The greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a school bus, but approaching or leaving one. That’s why as a driver, it is especially important to pay attention and slow down. Students’ lives are on the line.
- Speed limits aren’t suggestions. They are road- and situation-specific to save lives and benefit all road users’ safety.