There once was a time, not long ago, when children were taught to look both ways before they crossed the street. In those days, we were all worried that drivers would not see pedestrians. We were afraid of the drivers. Now we also need to be on the look out for a pedestrian accident.
Today, pedestrians themselves are increasingly becoming the problem, walking around with their eyes on their phones and earbuds plugged in.
In fact, around 40 percent of Canadians admitted to texting as they walk and about 25 percent said they always or often walk with their headphones on. Not surprising given the increase in cell phone use over the years, but no text or call is worth the risk. These distractions are a very real danger, especially during the month of November which is noted for an increase in pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The time change leaves commuters at a greater risk walking and driving home in the dark.
While laws are in the works across Canada to fine distracted drivers, it’s best to make sure that you and your family are always safe and that you are not liable for an accident.
Our Top Ottawa Injury Tips for Avoiding a Pedestrian Accident
1. If you must use headphones or other electronic devices, maintain a volume where you can still hear the sounds of traffic and your surroundings.
2. If you need to talk to someone, make a call or text, stop and do it away from the traffic.
3. Focus on the people, objects and obstacles around you.
4. Don’t jaywalk. Cross streets carefully at a traffic light. Stay aware of the traffic and the vehicles and bikes on the road.
5. Look up, not down, when stepping into an intersection or walking in a parking lot.
6. Stay alert and be aware especially during the winter months when it gets dark earlier and drivers aren’t as likely to see you.