- Assume Responsibility – It is your responsibility as a driver to be conscious of the safety of pedestrians. Simply acknowledging that pedestrians are out there will go a long way towards ensuring a safe drive for you and a safe trip for them.
- Identify Pedestrians – Make a mental note when you see a pedestrian. Knowing there are pedestrians in the immediate area can help you react to unexpected situations.
- Avoid Distracted Driving – It is difficult to identify pedestrians if you are not watching the road. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Do not text and drive.
- Avoid Drunk Driving – Driving under the influence is against the law and carries stiff penalties. Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs who injure a pedestrian can face jail time. Impaired drivers who seriously injure a pedestrian could face stiffer penalties. Impaired drivers who kill a pedestrian could face vehicular manslaughter charges.
- Look Both Ways Before Turning – If you are turning right, you may be focused only on traffic approaching from your left. You should also focus on potential pedestrians approaching from your right. Ensure there are no pedestrians in any direction before beginning your turn.
- Look Behind You – Be sure to check your rearview mirror, side mirrors, and backup camera when reversing, especially in parking lots or driveways.
- Obey Speed Limits – Speeding reduces reaction time.
- Obey Traffic Signals – In addition to not crashing into other vehicles, obeying red lights and stop signs will prevent drivers from crashing into pedestrians too. Traffic signals often have crosswalks as well.
- Obey Crosswalk Rules – Pedestrians always have the right-of-way in crosswalks, marked or unmarked. Drivers should stop before the crosswalk, stop light, stop sign, or marked stop line.
- Do Not Pass Stopped School Buses – If a bus has its stop sign arm extended, drivers in both directions are legally required to stop except in certain circumstances. See our previously published guide on stopping for school buses.
- Never Assume – We all know the saying, but drivers should never assume that any pedestrian will behave in a predictable manner.
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Speeding or driving too fast for conditions (like a rain-soaked Southern California freeway).
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