4,000 Pounds Versus YOU
Do you know how much a car weighs? According to slate.com, the weight of cars in 2010 were approximately 788 pounds heavier than they were in 1987. As cars as getting heavier, more pedestrians are getting hurt. An article on abc10.com states that there was a 30 percent increase in the number of pedestrians killed from 2007 to 2016.
This got me wondering, what are the main causes for loss of pedestrian life?
- Poor visibility in the dark
- Distracted drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Drowsiness while driving
These are all things that are relatively within our control. As drivers, it’s obvious which safety measures we should take to ensure safety for everyone on the road. But, what can people traveling by foot or bike do to protect themselves?
What is the number one way to effectively protect yourself as a pedestrian at night?
Reflective gear. Seems pretty simple. Problem: poor visibility. Solution: reflective gear that makes you very easy to see. You see it in your everyday life: on bicyclists, construction workers, crossing guards, etc.
Reflective gear is bright, neon colored clothing that works by converting UV rays in sunlight to be seen like a light by the eye. The colors are usually a vivid contrast against the surrounding environment. It works particularly well during the day. However, it’s crucial to include true reflective tape on your gear when traveling in the evening. The combination of both the reflective clothing and the tape has a significantly greater chance of saving your life than the clothing alone.
More tips for pedestrians:
- Follow the traditional rules of the road. Do not jaywalk or make sudden, unexpected movements. Wait for the light to signal that it’s safe to cross.
- Be aware of what’s going on around you. Avoid staring at your cell phone. Watch where you are walking and always look for cars.
- Make eye contact with cars before crossing the road.
- Avoid walking while intoxicated, when your judgment is impaired.
Please use good judgment and avoid putting your life at risk while going for your jog, walk, or bike ride.