Driving in pedestrian spots can be terrifying, even for experienced drivers. Therefore, it is crucial to identify such areas and exercise extreme caution to prevent accidents.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the pedestrian spots which need extra vigilance and give some helpful tips to consider when sharing roads with pedestrians.
Pedestrian Spots Where Caution is Key
1. Special Occasion Venues
There is increased pedestrian traffic on and near streets during sports events, concerts, and festivals.
If you know of an upcoming event along your usual route, consider taking a detour to avoid any possible pedestrian collisions.
2. Parking Spots
Vehicles and people both have a place in parking lots. This is because drivers and potentially numerous passengers must walk to and from each parked car in a parking lot.
You need to drive through parking lots with utmost caution. Note that parking lots typically have no designated pedestrian routes, even though it may be alluring to concentrate on getting a terrific place near the entrance.
Check your mirrors and the parking area in front of you frequently for people. While other parking lots have a stated speed restriction, it is best to assume one of five miles an hour just to be safe.
People go outside to celebrate several holidays. Parades are frequently held with holidays, including Christmas, Memorial Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Veterans’ Day.
People frequently park blocks away, line the streets for miles, and walk to the parade path.
If you have to drive along a parade route, go with great caution and keep an eye out for young children.
Halloween also increases the chance of accidents between people and automobiles when families go trick-or-treating together.
Although many parents dress their kids in reflective costumes during Halloween, some of the most common and most difficult to spot by drivers at night are dark-colored outfits.
4. School Zones
Buses frequently struggle to navigate traffic flow in school zones in the mornings and afternoons.
Therefore, always give way to buses when driving. When they show their stop sign, be sure to stop.
Watch out for kids awaiting their school bus when driving throughout the mornings, whether you’re in school zones or not. Also, keep an eye out for kids alighting at their homes at mid-day of the day.
5. Urban areas
If you operate a vehicle in an urban, downtown location, you are undoubtedly accustomed to being on the road with others.
Nonetheless, when driving in the city, motorists from rural or suburban regions are frequently surprised by the sheer quantity of individuals dashing back and forth on the roads.
Nearly every crossroads in metropolitan regions has a crosswalk, yet each has its fair number of jaywalkers.
Never assume all pedestrians have crossed the street to the other side since there is a green light. Instead, stay cautious and keep an eye out for traffic.
Here Are Some Tips to Consider When Sharing Roads With Pedestrians
1. Prevent Distractions
Distracted driving causes fatalities, and it endangers pedestrians in particular. Suppose you’re on your phone, adjusting the radio, or conversing with somebody in the back seat.
In that case, you’re less likely to see a pedestrian crossing the road or around the corner. Instead, wait until you get to your destination or have pulled over before indulging in diversions.
2. Stick to the Speed Limits
Always drive under the posted speed limit, particularly near a pedestrian area. Observe the established speed restrictions in school zones.
3. Look Before Turning
When you move straight, pedestrians are not always directly in front of you. As you’re turning, they can also be in the crosswalk.
Always watch for pedestrians when you’re about to turn to ensure they have the right to pass. If you spot any, establish eye contact with them.
4. Never Drive After Drinking
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs endangers everyone on the road, especially pedestrians.
Your response time and cognitive abilities are slowed while intoxicated driving, making it challenging to recognize pedestrians or react in time to prevent an accident.
5. Obey Crosswalk Regulations
Even if there isn’t a crossing guard or signal, you should always stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
While approaching a crosswalk, slow down and be ready to stop. Furthermore, remember to provide adequate space in the crosswalk so that people can cross against the traffic flow.
Whenever there is a crossing guard, stop. Never try to pass another car that is halted at a crossing.
6. Don’t Ever Presume a Pedestrian Will Notice You
Although a moving car is challenging to overlook, you must never presume a pedestrian has seen your car.
Always look pedestrians in the eye and ask if they understand you are giving them the right-of-way or turning.
7. Observe All Traffic Signals and Signs
Drivers must observe and obey the pedestrian signals and signs to give walkers the right of way.
It is essential to heed the instructions on signs telling drivers to stop, yield, or look out for pedestrians.
8. Overtake Stopped Cars with Caution
Youngsters may run out in front of halted cars, or passengers could open unannounced doors.
Avoid driving through oddly halted vehicles at junctions unless you are confident the intersection is free since they could yield to pedestrians.
9. Increase Visibility
Making oneself visible is the final piece of advice everyone should remember, particularly at night or in the weather.
When strolling at night, pedestrians should think about using luminous apparel. People should be especially cautious while entering crosswalks since they’re harder to notice.
For pedestrians to notice drivers, drivers must also do their share. As it grows dark, when it’s pouring, or when there is fog, activate your headlights.
Headlights can make your automobile more visible to pedestrians even if you don’t need them to see what’s in front of you.
A pedestrian may be better able to judge whether it’s safe to cross the street if they can see your automobile approaching from a distance due to your headlights.
As a driver, you should ensure your driving skills are well-sharpened. This will ensure you have an easy time on the road.
When you know pedestrian spots like school zones, driveways, parking lots, and urban places, you’ll be aware of your environment and react quickly.
At Pierre Paul Driving School, we offer a prelicensing course teaching our students how to be safe on the road. We also offer affordable driving lessons to help you drive confidently on New York roads. Check out our driving packages today.