How to Deal with Pedestrians

Pedestrain crossing

How to Deal with Pedestrians

Statistics released by the Department of Transport show that every day, there’s an average of one pedestrian death and 14 seriously injured pedestrians in the UK. Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable groups on the road, as they’re not protected by a vehicle body in any way and are far more difficult to see on the road. Therefore, they’re often victims of collisions and accidents and are particularly vulnerable to injuries, resulting in the statistic above.

Drivers Responsibility

Due to this, drivers take the responsibility of ensuring the safety of pedestrians. Below are some situations where drivers should be extra cautious.

Pedestrian Crossings

These are typical areas where you’re most likely to meet pedestrians. The driver should anticipate and plan ahead and observe what’s around the crossing, not simply what’s on the crossing itself. Zebra crossings often saw as the most dangerous, as they rely entirely on the driver’s judgement for giving way. As you approach a zebra crossing, look on both sides for pedestrians who may be about to cross. If it’s difficult to see a certain side, slow down until you’re certain the crossing is completely clear. Be aware that sometimes, pedestrians can seemingly appear from nowhere, especially children. Therefore it’s important to be increasingly aware of your surroundings.

Busy Roads

On busy roads during rush hours, vehicles may be queuing on the other side of the road. This makes spotting pedestrians incredibly difficult. It’s best here to approach extremely slowly and with caution. At light controlled crossings, such as pelican crossing or puffin, look out for waiting pedestrians as this will give you an indication of whether the lights are about to change.

Pedestrians Crossing the Road

A common place for pedestrians to be crossing the road is at a junction, or at turns. Most pedestrians will observe the entire road before stepping onto the road, however, you should never rely on everyone doing this. Many people now tend to walk with headphones or can be distracted by their phone, and some step right into the road, assuming it’s clear. Regardless of the actions of the pedestrian, it’s your responsibility to ensure their safety. The elderly tend to require longs periods of time to cross, and children can be erratic and unpredictable, especially considering they may not look as thoroughly as they should.

You should use your judgement to determine the speed that you should approach a junction. Open junction, where you can see clearly before making a turn, is far safer and you’ll be able to maintain a regular speed near these. Yet some junctions are blind, meaning the turning itself isn’t visible from a distance. Slowing down is the best course of action around these, as it allows you to check for the possibility of pedestrians crossing or about to cross.

Pulling out of Driveways

The problem with pulling out of driveways is that it will involve driving over the pavement. Ensure that you’ve checked up and down the entire pavement before moving out of the driveway. If there are any in the vicinity, stop and allow them to pass your car completely before moving away. This issue is often made worse by bushes, fences or other parked cars, with can obscure your view.

Urban Roads

Children are another massive problem, due to their small size and unpredictable behaviour. A common example is a street with lots of parked cars. As children can be hidden by the parked cars, and due to their nature, may run into the road without thinking. Therefore, it’s important to be especially observant on these types of roads, whilst keeping stopping distance in mind. Most of these types of roads have a 30mph speed limit, yet lower than this could be advisable.

Another common hazard to be aware of is car doors suddenly opening. If possible, look into the parked cars to catch signs of someone getting ready to leave. It’s advisable to keep a 1m distance between your vehicle and parked cars, although this may not always be possible.

Weather and low light

Bad weather conditions and low light levels can make seeing pedestrians incredibly difficult to see. This problem is made worse by the fact that many pedestrians often wear dark clothing, instead of a recommended reflective vest. It’s important to remember it’s also more difficult for pedestrians to see your vehicle, therefore, remember to switch on your lights and use your signals appropriately.

In conclusion, it’s important for drivers to remember how vulnerable pedestrians are. They’re safely is entirely in your hands, therefore, it’s best to be actively looking out for them and show caution when around them. Why not improve your driving further by watch our Youtube Channel. Wishing you safe and enjoyable driving, the team at DTC Driving Test Services.

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