Pedestrians are the high-risk group on public roads that have a higher chance of getting involved in a road accident. We lose almost 62 pedestrians on a daily basis, making them a vulnerable group. Various road safety experts believe that this is mostly to do with the lack of an understanding of the road rules. In India, we do not even have a concept of the right to move first, and we drive our vehicles on our whims and fancy, highly disregarding the road rules meant for the safety of the pedestrians. Even at the global level, the traffic rules are made in such a manner that gives the highest safety priority to pedestrians and cyclists. With the urban areas expanding at a greater pace, in addition to the population shift, there is an ever-greater need to make our pedestrians safer. Here is how you can make sure about pedestrian road safety while driving-
Know their right to way
We know that the road rules are hardly followed in our country, and we barely know when the pedestrians have a right to move. It is not uncommon to see the whole zebra crossing covered with vehicles at the traffic light stops, how are the pedestrians supposed to move then? We must know that these are the things that are meant for the safety of the pedestrian crossing the road, and we must respect their right to cross the road when they have the right to do so. We should also follow the road speed limits very carefully because they are designed to maximize your response time in case of an emergency. You should also operate the headlights at low beam settings, they are a major cause for hit-and-run cases during the dark.
Keep the distractions away
Smartphones have penetrated deeper into our lives than ever, and that has brought even more problems. Statistics suggest that the increase of use of mobile phones while driving has increased the rate of road accidents by 33%. So we have a big responsibility on our shoulders as a driver to make sure that we are not always distracted by our gadgets on the road. First, avoid using the mobile phone at all costs while driving, and if there is anything urgent, then stop your vehicle on the side of the road and then attend to it. By distracting yourself with a mobile phone, you are not only putting others’ lives at risk, but you own too.
Follow road signs carefully
While driving, we come across many road signs asking us to slow down or to look carefully for pedestrians in dense traffic zones. We must always follow these road signs and in an area where the chances of having pedestrians are high, like schools or hospitals, we must be extra careful. If you see a blind corner or a vehicle blocking the road view at the front, then you must be extra careful while making a maneuver. Pedestrians are not only present in front but to your sides too, so you must adjust your mirrors properly and look for them while making a turn or before starting to drive on the road.
Have a humbling attitude
In India, we have this archaic thinking that if you own a vehicle, then you are above the person who is on the road on foot. Due to this bad attitude, we tend to disregard the safety of the road pedestrians and do not give them the right of way when they clearly have them. We must understand that you share a part of the responsibility while driving on the road, and that includes pedestrian safety too. It’s your duty to look out for pedestrians and do your best to avoid accidents. In rough weather, do not drive disregarding their safety, and it is a common civil courtesy to give them a right of way during heavy rain. Always assume that a pedestrian has not seen your vehicle, and be prepared for the worst by driving more carefully and humbly.
As a driver of the vehicle, you can take these steps to make sure about pedestrian road safety. One more thing to add here is that the pedestrians must also realize that they have an equal duty to be more aware and safe on the road. We hardly see anyone using a subway crossing to cross a dangerous highway, and the problem of technological distraction is equally present here too. Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, always make sure about the road rules and be more aware of road safety by knowing your own duties.