Between 2010 and 2014, an average of seven pedestrians lost their lives every year in motor vehicle collisions in the city of Vancouver. In fact, in 2014, pedestrians were 36% of the total accident fatalities in Vancouver. According to Transport Canada, nearly 15% of all road traffic deaths involve pedestrians.
Unfortunately, pedestrian safety continues to be a grave concern throughout Canada. In 2015, for example, 11 pedestrians lost their lives in collision fatalities in Vancouver. Injuries to pedestrians are often severe, and children and older adults are at higher risk for injuries. It is especially important to teach pedestrian safety to children as soon as they can walk.
Tips for Staying Safe as a Pedestrian
Following the rules of the road and making yourself visible are two of the most important ways that you can increase pedestrian safety. Use the following quick tips on a regular basis to decrease the chances you will be injured or killed as a pedestrian.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if it is available. Otherwise, walk on the road in the direction that faces traffic.
- Try to avoid crossing the street in the middle of a block or between parked cars. Use crosswalks as available.
- Follow traffic lights and signals and only walk when the “Walk” signal is on. Never cross the street when the red light saying “Don’t Walk” is lit.
- Look for turning traffic before you cross the road, even if the “Walk” signal
- If possible, make eye contact with a nearby driver before you cross the street or move into traffic.
- Avoid crossing the street into moving traffic and wait for traffic to stop before crossing the road.
- Wear bright, light-coloured or reflective clothing to increase your visibility.
It is also important that parents teach their children to look both ways before crossing the road and ensure that they know the tips outlined above.
Pedestrian Safety for Drivers
Drivers can also make extra efforts to ensure that pedestrians are safe while on the road. Motorists should always be on the lookout for pedestrians and yield to them, even if they do not technically have the right-of-way. Drivers should take special precautions when turning to avoid hitting pedestrians as well. Other tips include:
- Keep an eye out for workers in temporary work zones.
- Watch for younger children playing on the streets, especially when a school is nearby.
- Always obey traffic signals and street signs. Pedestrians will be expecting you to stop or slow down as required.
- Pay particular attention for pedestrians when you are driving through school zones in residential streets.
Practicing defensive driving cannot only keep you safe on the road, but it can also keep others around you safe as well.
Vancouver’s Efforts to Increase Pedestrian Safety
The Vancouver Police Department has continually made extra efforts to increase pedestrian safety awareness, which means teaching both drivers and pedestrians about safety concerns. The city is also engaging in enhancements and additional efforts to improve crosswalk safety. For example, Vancouver is now trying out new rapid flashing beacons at three crosswalks located in the city. These can be found at the following locations.
- Victoria Drive and Grant Street
- West Boulevard and 42nd Avenue
- Elliott Street and Waverley Avenue
Crosswalk lights are considered high intensity, which will hopefully increase driver awareness to decrease pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Getting help when you are injured
If you or a loved one have been injured by a vehcile failing to keep a proper lookout, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond might be able to help you recover compensation. Speak with a member of our team by using our free consultation service. Call 1-800-567-HURT today.