Road safety is important – not just to drivers, but also to pedestrians and local communities. Danger on the roads can be rapidly reduced massively if everyone sticks to the rules of the road. Whilst most drivers are law abiding and cautious, others take risks that can prove fatal. Sadly, often victims of road accidents suffer from a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to RoSPA, the UK is proud to have one of the best road safety records in the world. But that doesn’t mean that our roads are a safe place to be – there are still significant risks to be aware of, with the stats showing that someone is killed or seriously injured on UK roads every 20 minutes on average
Just as drivers and cyclists should stay alert, so should pedestrians. Here are our top road safety tips to keep in mind to stay safe.
The Green Cross Code
To stay safe on the road, remember the Green Cross Code.
Make sure you find a safe place to cross the road. Where possible, cross at a subway, footbridge, pedestrian crossing, zebra crossing or traffic island. Make sure that you know exactly how to use each crossing. You should never cross at the brow of a hill, between parked cars or on a blind bend, because oncoming traffic may not be able to see you.
Before you get to the kerb, take the time to stop. Stand on the pavement close to the kerb in a position where you can see traffic without stepping onto the road.
Use your eyes and ears to assess the surrounding area for traffic. First, look right, then look left. Then, look right again, and cross the road. Remember to be alert for bicycles and scooters as well as vehicles.
If traffic is oncoming, let it pass before crossing the road. If you are at a pedestrian crossing, wait until the green man has shown and the cars have stopped before you begin to cross. Once the traffic has passed, look and listen again before crossing the road.
Look and listen again
Keep looking and listening whilst you are crossing the road. Look out for cyclists, motorists and scooter riders. Always walk straight across the road, making your path as short as possible. Never hurry across the road, as it increases your chances of stumbling.
When you reach the other side of the pavement, you can carry on with the rest of your journey!
Road Safety Tips
Educate your kids early
Sit down with your child and explain the dangers of the roads. Take them out for walks to put the green cross code into action and make sure you lead by example. Wait for a green man to cross the road, and always look both ways. Habits form early, so make sure that as a parent, you see every day as a learning opportunity.
Runners normally take a sensible approach when out on the roads with high visibility and brightly coloured clothing - such as hi-vis clothing, but when it comes to getting from A to B pedestrians are rarely as sensible. Help yourself be seen by wearing something bright or fluorescent and use reflective materials which are easily seen by drivers’ headlights. A reflective rucksack or trainers are handy if it isn’t always possible to wear specific clothing.
Make it a no-phone zone
Today pedestrians are more distracted than ever. Injuries that occurred by pedestrians when using a mobile phone are said to have doubled in five years with young people aged 16-25 most likely to be involved in an accident. Pedestrians are not looking before crossing, and those listening to music at the same time are unable to listen out for speeding traffic. Make a point of putting your phone away before approaching junctions or even better, put it away completely when on foot.
Consider your alcohol levels
Walking rather than driving is the right thing to do when you have drunk alcohol, be aware that your judgement will still be impaired meaning that even walking drunk can carry risks.. You may be more likely to take risks you wouldn’t normally dream of and will have slower reaction times which may be a matter of life and death in the event of having to think and act quickly.
Don’t rely on others
You might be giving your full attention to everything happening on the roads around you, but this doesn’t mean that others are. You can’t always rely on drivers to make the right decision. Make sure that drivers can see you before you cross- make eye contact and be authoritative that you have a place on the road. If you are in a situation where there is no footpath available for you to walk on, walk facing road traffic.
Don’t be another victim of road traffic; road-wise pedestrians are safe pedestrians.