A complete guide to avoid pedestrian accidents

Updated May 16, 2019 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!
Pedestrians and drivers take heed of the practical nuggets below. They can save your (and another’s) life.

Accidents happen almost everywhere and at any time. A lot of them occur because of reckless driving; on the other hand, hard-headed pedestrians can cause them as well.

Philkotse.com values everyone’s safety, which is why we prepared some tips for both those behind the wheel and pedestrians, too.

I. Reminder for Drivers

1. Slow down in pedestrian areas

Pedestrian lanes allow people to safely cross the road. As soon as you see the roadside signs or spot the zebra stripes, slow down. This gives you extra time to react should someone cross the road.

Remember that pedestrians are unpredictable and you cannot tell what they’ll do or where they’ll go next. Even a split second can already make a difference in preventing an accident. 

Pedestrian lane

If you see pedestrians, slow down

2. Be patient with the elderly and the differently abled

Older people can take more time to cross the street. In addition, because of age, their vision might be impaired - and so they don’t notice your car.

Blind people also need more care and time. People with impaired vision mostly rely on their sense of hearing. Giving extra time and distance will keep people with physical challenges safe.

Elderly cross the street

Older people might take more time in crossing the road. Give them that

3. Make eye contact

Most of the times, pedestrians make eye contact to know if you’ve noticed them before they cross the street. Eye contact helps you communicate with the pedestrians about who’s going first. It clears confusion and prevents accidents.

4. Observe school crossing signs

Road signs often announce school zones and crossings. When you see these, it means you have to slow down and keep an eye out for students crossing the road. Some students tend to forget or don't always think of looking both ways to check for oncoming vehicles.

This is one of the most common reasons why students or kids are involved in road accidents. The best thing to do is to be extra careful when driving in school zones since children like to roam and play in the street. You have to drive slowly and be very attentive of kids that might cross without warning.

Children cross the street

Be mindful of school zones and crossings. Keep an eye out for students who might suddenly cross the street

4. Don’t make assumptions when the vehicle in front suddenly stops

When the car in front of you suddenly stops, you might be tempted to quickly steer around it. That’s a very common mistake. There might be a crossing pedestrian in the front of the vehicle, causing them to suddenly stop.

Maintain reasonable distance so that you can safely stop if the vehicle in front of you suddenly halts. Rushing past another vehicle might spell disaster.

5. Don’t drive under the influence

To keep you and pedestrians safe, avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being exposed to these substances affects and decreases your reaction time. Pedestrians don’t have any idea if the driver is under the influence.

If you drink and drive, you don’t only put yourself in danger, but you also put the lives of pedestrians and other motorists at risk. Driving sober is not only safe; the law demands it.

Drive under the influence

You can get a ticket up to Php 500,000 if caught drunk driving

6. Avoid driving distractions

Texting or using your phone while driving is not only a violation of traffic rules but it also endangers your life as well as the life of other people on the same road as you are.

Unless you have a hands-free model or are paired with your vehicle’s infotainment system, never use your phone whenever you’re in control of the steering wheel. Focus on the road and keep an eye out for pedestrians.

Avoid driving distractions

Hand-free earphones are encouraged to use while driving

>>> Read more: 6 things you should know about Anti Distracted Driving Act in the Philippines

7. Don’t speed up near residential areas

Whenever driving near homes or residential areas, prepare to slow down. These zones might have many pedestrians, especially children. Just because you see one doesn’t mean he or she sees you as well. Drive slowly and be careful if there are people walking on the road or sidewalk.

II. Reminder for Pedestrians

1. Stick to the designated crossing area

To be safe, pedestrians should only cross busy roads on the right crossing area. There are pedestrian lanes and overpasses in the major roads where they can safely cross. Some of them have crossing buttons.

pedestrian crossing

To be safe, pedestrians should only cross busy roads on the right crossing area

2. Don’t always expect that drivers see you

There are drivers who don’t pay attention to the road. Some of them might even be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Make sure that the traffic halts before crossing a junction (even if you have the right of way).

Be careful when crossing the street

There are many drivers who don't pay attention to the road

3. Look around stopped cars

While the car in front might have stopped and noticed you, the vehicles behind might try to steer around the first car quickly. This is why it is still a must to look intently before you continue to cross the road.

4. Move away from traffic if you will stop your car on the street

Numerous serious accidents happen when motorists stop their car on the side of the busy road. Some motorists continue to drive fast, not paying attention to what’s on the side of the highway.

If you need to stop your car on the side of the highway, ensure that there’s enough space between you and the road. Don’t stand right by the highway. Doing so will give other drivers and yourself excess time to avoid possible accidents.

a parked blue car

If you need to stop your car on the side of the highway, ensure that there’s enough space between you and the road

5. Avoid distractions

Some pedestrians are so engrossed with their gadgets that they tend to forget they’re dangerously crossing the busy highway. This is also one of the main causes of pedestrian accidents.

To be safe, avoid using your mobile phone or listening to loud music on your earphones. Using them while on the road prevents you from hearing approaching traffic.

Pedestrian using phone when crossing

Avoid using mobile phone when crossing the street

>>> Click here to get more helpful tips and advice for your safe driving 

Author

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.