September is Pedestrian Safety Month, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is reminding drivers and pedestrians to look out for one another.
According to a report released this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a projected 6,227 pedestrian deaths occurred nationwide last year, the highest number since 1990. In California, 858 pedestrians were killed in 2017, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all traffic deaths.
“Despite advances in vehicle technology that act as additional safety measures for drivers and passengers involved in a crash, pedestrians are still just as vulnerable as in years past,” said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. “Whether we are driving or walking, we are all going places so it is important that we avoid bad habits and put safety first.”
The OTS offers the following tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Cross the street at crosswalks, preferably with a stop sign or signal. Do not cross the street midblock (no jaywalking).
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Look for cars backing up. Avoid darting between parked cars.
- Wear bright color clothing during the day and use a flashlight at night.
- Do not use your cell phone or wear ear buds while walking.
- Avoid distractions such as a cell phone.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Watch for pedestrians when backing up.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Make sure the path is clear before making a turn at an intersection.