How to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents in the Dark

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As it gets cold and there are fewer hours of sunlight, it is crucial to make sure that pedestrians and drivers are more aware of pedestrians crossing the streets in Oregon’s early darkening days.  Focusing on being alert during the darker months of the year is important for everyone on the roads in Oregon.

Pedestrians

  • Use crosswalks or intersections to cross streets. Even if you have a signal to cross at a crosswalk, pay attention to the traffic coming in your direction.  Because it is dark, a turning vehicle may not see you!
  • Avoid crossing streets without designated crosswalks. If it is dark, drivers aren’t expecting pedestrians to cross roads that don’t have designated crossing signals or crosswalks.
  • Wear a reflective vest or carry a light with you as you walk in the dark. Reflective clothing allows others to see you more often.
  • Avoid using headphones as it is distracting and dangerous if you can’t hear what is going on in every direction.
  • Walk on the shoulder of the road or in the grassy areas if there isn’t a sidewalk. Also, walk toward oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t stare at your phone if you are walking at night. It is essential to be as alert as possible and assume that others can’t see you just because you have the right of way.  Putting your phone away will allow you to make the right decisions when crossing a street or walking along a busy road.

Drivers

  • Take the extra time to check for pedestrians on crosswalks. Some pedestrians may not wear reflective or brighter clothing, so they might be tough to see while you are in a moving vehicle.  Before you turn, make sure to look both ways one more time.
  • Avoid using a cellphone while driving. Just a few moments of distraction can mean disaster while driving in the dark.
  • Always yield to pedestrians crossing a street.
  • Go slow through crosswalks. If there is glare because of lights or water on the road, you may not see a pedestrian using the crosswalk.
  • If the roads are icy, drive under the speed limit in areas that have many pedestrians. If your car slides on the icy roads, it is crucial to stop well before a crosswalk.

 

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