Raul Casares, RN, BSN, Emergency Department Director at Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center, says you’re never too old or too young to think about pedestrian safety. In 2013, there was an average of one traffic crash-related pedestrian death every two hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 150,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal, crash-related injuries that same year, the CDC says. Many accidents can be prevented by following basic safety rules.
Here are tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and National Safety Council (NSC) for children and adults of all ages:
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time
- Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
- Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
- Don’t wear headphones while walking
- Never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking (see below)
- If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
- Never rely on a car to stop
- Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult
- Only cross at designated crosswalks
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
- Walk in groups
Hold That Call
Did you know that walking and talking on your cell phone can put you at risk for injury? Distracted walking incidents involving cell phones accounted for more than 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011, according to a statistic cited by the National Safety Council (NSC). The best way to avoid this problem is to put your cell phone away until you safely reach your destination.