Local First Responders Offer Pedestrian Safety Tips
Source: AMR & CALSTAR
In 2019, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident every 85 minutes in the United States. CALSTAR Air Medical Services (CALSTAR) and American Medical Response Santa Barbara (AMR) want to remind Santa Barbara County residents that pedestrian safety is important no matter their preferred mode of transportation.
Chris Aten, Program Director for CALSTAR Santa Maria, offers this advice to pedestrians:
- Follow the rules of the road. Obey all road signs and traffic signals.
- Use the sidewalk when one is available. If there is no sidewalk, be sure to walk facing traffic and as far away from passing vehicles as possible.
- Do not walk while distracted. Just like when operating a vehicle, walking when distracted by electronic devices takes your eyes off the road and traffic conditions.
- Use crosswalks or intersections to cross the road. Always look for cars in all directions and remember to check for vehicles turning either right or left.
- If you cannot utilize a crosswalk or intersection, only cross in well-lit areas with a clear view of traffic. Then, wait for a clearing in traffic that allows you ample time to cross safely. Be sure to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic until you have safely crossed the street.
- Pedestrians should never assume that a driver sees them. Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you. Also, wear bright clothing during daytime hours and reflective materials at night. Pedestrians should carry a flashlight when walking after dark.
- Be alert and watch for cars that may be entering or exiting driveways or parking lots.
- Avoid walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Aten also had this advice for motorists:
- Be alert and always watch for pedestrians.
- Reduce your speed and be prepared to come to a complete stop when entering crosswalks or turning at traffic signals.
- Always yield for pedestrians and leave abundant room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so that other oncoming traffic can see that someone has entered the roadway.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Follow all posted speed limits, especially in school zones, neighborhoods, or areas where pedestrians are present.
- Use extra precaution when backing out of driveways or parking spots.
CALSTAR and AMR are committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve. Our caregivers promote safety and preparedness to save lives and prevent both injury and disability. For more information on pedestrian safety, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov.