Keeping pedestrians safe with IAM RoadSmart
by Helen Jackson |
posted 10 November 2017
Every year, after the clocks go back, the roads are instantly more dangerous for pedestrians. The streets are plunged into darkness earlier in the evenings for the five-month period and in this time we see more incidents involving pedestrians. Most of these incidents happen between the hours of 3pm and 7pm.
Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving and Riding Standards, shares some tips for keeping pedestrians safe during. So during the period of shorter daylight hours take note of the below:
1. Always keep an eye on your speed. You are twice as likely to kill a pedestrian driving at 35mph as you are if you’re driving at 30. So take note of the 20mph areas and particularly near schools. It’s 20 for a reason so stick to it.
2. Children can be more difficult to see and may run out between parked vehicles. Keep alert by looking over, under and through vehicles as your drive. You might just spot someone before they step out.
3. Look out for people who are looking over their shoulder, they might be looking to cross the road – these are the tell-tale signs you should always be looking out for. If you have a space in front of your vehicle the pedestrian may well run in front of you instead of waiting for a larger gap. It’s important to stay alert.
4. Be aware of what Richard calls mobile phone ‘zombies’. Many pedestrians are glued to their phones, even when crossing roads. They can be so focused on their device that they walk straight out into the road without looking.
Extra safety tips
Take extra care in weather with strong wind or rain. This weather can increase the risk of pedestrians rushing across the road, they can be more focused on staying dry than crossing the road safely.
When you’re parking your car, it’s important to consider where you’re parking, if it’s blocking a dropped kerb or potentially impairing someone’s vision to cross the road safely, think about parking elsewhere.
“In a perfect world, pedestrians would all be on the pavement and would never have to cross the road.” Richard continues, “In a near perfect one, a pedestrian on a road would be wearing flashing high viz and your car would be shouting about their presence – in our real world it is up to use to share the road space, be aware and help where we can.”