The Ontario government has been introducing more laws to protect pedestrians while crossing roads. While this is good news for pedestrian safety, it shouldn’t give a false sense of security to you while walking or running outside. Pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s not just up to cyclists and drivers to keep an eye out for you. Making sure that you’re watching out for your own safety is vitally important while you’re out and about.
In order to protect yourself as a pedestrian on Ontario roads here are five tips from the Ministry of Transportation to use while going out on your next walk or run:
1. Don’t jaywalk
Jaywalking is very dangerous. It puts you at risk of becoming injured by an automobile and the drivers on the road at risk of an accident in the process of avoiding you. As a pedestrian, you should always cross at a designated crosswalks or traffic lights where it is indicated for you to cross. Crossing in the middle of a block or between parked cars is dangerous no matter how tempting it might be to save you time or inconvenience. It’s not worth the risk of injury.
2. Communicate with drivers
It doesn’t hurt to make sure drivers are aware of your presence as you’re crossing the street. If a driver is stopped at the road or intersection you are crossing make eye contact with them before stepping out on to the road. That way you can make sure that they have seen you and are aware that you are likely to enter the road in front of them.
3. Make yourself visible
Make it easier for drivers to spot you. Wearing bright, light and/or reflective clothing can make it easier for drivers to see you crossing the street. This is especially important at night or at dusk as it can be much more difficult for drivers to see you.
4. Know what to do
When you’re at a designated crosswalk, traffic light or intersection with stop signs make sure you know what to do. Only cross when traffic has come to a complete stop. If you’re at a traffic light make sure to follow your signals. If they are provided, only walk at the beginning of the green light or walk signal, and if you are still crossing while the light turns yellow or the do not walk signal appears complete your crossing safely. However, if you approach to cross the street when the light is yellow, the do not walk signal appears or the light is red do not cross.
5. Keep an eye out
While crossing it is important to be alert to turning cars. Even while walking or jogging down the sidewalk it’s important to remember this as cars turn into or out of driveways. It can be easy to become distracted while walking and crossing the street. Whether you’re glued to your cellphone, busy finding the perfect song to listen to on an iPod or lost in your own thoughts, it’s important to bring yourself back to attention in order to protect yourself while walking. When approaching a crossing, intersection or sidewalk with driveways, make sure you are aware and your eyes are up in order to protect yourself.
While you can be very cautious as a pedestrian, sometimes tragic accidents do happen.
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