Avoiding Personal Injury on the Streets
Spring time has arrived in the Bay Area and you’re ready to head outside for a jog or a long walk. Unfortunately, spring can also mean a spike in pedestrian accidents and personal injuries in the Bay Area. So much so, that the National Safety Council has named April “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”. The causes of pedestrian accidents usually include:
- Drivers driving DUI or under the influence of drugs, prescription medications or over-the-counter pills
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Drivers who fail to stop or yield at crosswalks or stop signs
- Drivers and pedestrians operating on “auto pilot” instead of transiting mindfully.
If you’re looking to be a safer driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, adhere to these rules:
- Shut off your mobile devices. This should be a no-brainer, especially when you’re driving. Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing, and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increases the risk of getting into a crash by three times. Pedestrians are no exception. If you’re walking around a neighborhood, do not talk on your phone when you cross a busy intersection or walk across a driveway.
- Keep Your Car Clean. Make sure your windshield is clear of dirt and debris, and that your side and rearview mirrors are in working condition and in the right position to maximize your field of vision. Don’t own a squeegee? You can always use the complimentary ones at the gas station while you’re filling up.
- Slow Down. This applies to drivers and pedestrians. Always drive at a speed that is appropriate for weather conditions. In bad weather, like heavy rain or fog, give yourself extra time to brake and come to a stop. When walking, don’t rush to get across the street as the signals are changing from walk to stop. Risking your safety isn’t worth the extra seconds it might save you.
- Get enough sleep and take care of yourself. A study done by Harvard University concluded that drowsy driving is responsible for 20 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. So get plenty of rest and eat a balanced diet so that you’re generally more alert.