October is Pedestrian Safety Month; ODOT has tips for everyone

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Oregon is experiencing an increased number of deaths in our transportation system for those who walk or bike. One step we can take is to remind everyone of the simple things we can do to protect each other, says ODOT.

October is Pedestrian Safety Month and a great time to brush up on the basics to keep everyone safer on our roadways, whether you’re going to work, school, or just exercising.

We emphasize pedestrian safety in the fall and winter because the days get shorter and the weather creates barriers with its fog, rain and snow. Fatal crashes involving pedestrians are much more likely to occur at night when it is harder to see. In 2020, 77% of pedestrian fatalities in the US occurred after dark, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the US, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 17% of all traffic fatalities in 2020. In Oregon, there were 71 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 14% of traffic fatalities involved in motor vehicles in 2020. With 1.67 fatalities per 100,000 population, Oregon ranks as the 23rd state with the highest pedestrian fatality rate, according to the most recent data (NHTSA.gov). While Oregon fell below the national average in 2020, preliminary national and state data suggest an increase in pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries from 2020.

Everyone should:

  • plan ahead to avoid unplanned delays that cause hasty behavior.
  • Know and follow traffic laws.
  • to be aware of your surroundings.
  • Pay attention weather and road conditions and drive accordingly.
  • Focus on the task at hand: walking, rolling, cycling or driving.
  • Driving, walking, bicycling, or rolling sober. Alcohol and drugs affect your abilities and judgment.

driving tips

  • Look for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. when looking for oncoming vehicles and other traffic. Be especially careful in parking lots, at stop signs, and when backing up or parking.
  • be extra cautious when driving in poor visibility conditions, or in places where people normally cross the road, such as parks, schools, shopping areas, and busy intersections.
  • Decelerate and be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Give way to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back to give other vehicles a chance to see crossing pedestrians.
  • Follow the speed limit. stay alert in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children.
  • check all crosswalks before turning to see if there are people trying to cross the street.
  • Stay alert and get rid of distractions: Keep your eyes and ears open and get rid of distractions like texting, talking on the cell phone, or listening to loud music. Ask others in the car to help you drive safely by navigating, looking for people walking, biking, and rolling.

Tips for walking and rolling

  • Stay alert and get rid of distractions: Keep your eyes and ears open and get rid of distractions like texting, talking on the cell phone, or listening to headphones.
  • Cross safely and cross at corners: Don’t assume the shoreline is clear just because you are using the crosswalk and the WALK signal is on. Continue to watch for traffic as you cross, especially for turning vehicles.
  • Be clear to drivers: If you want to cross, be sure to stick out a hand, leg, cane, or wheel to show intent to cross and make eye contact with drivers. If you are not sure the driver saw you, release the vehicle first.
  • be visible: Wear bright clothes (even white clothes may not be visible at night). Add reflective material or a flashing light to your jacket or backpack, or carry a flashlight at night. Be very careful when walking at dawn or dusk.
  • Watch for cars pulling in or out of driveways or backing into parking lots.
  • Facing oncoming traffic Y use sidewalks when they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
  • When possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where people driving wait for pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those that are turning. If there is no crosswalk or intersection available, find a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.

Download a pedestrian and a driver. guidealso available in espaend up. You can download additional digital items at English Y Spanish help spread the word about pedestrian safety.

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