Pedestrian Safety Tips for Autumn

by | Auto Insurance, Uncategorized

October may be a beautiful time of the year as colorful leaves decorate the sidewalks of BC cities and towns. However, it’s a different scene on the road, with ICBC reporting that October is the month where crashes involving pedestrians increase by 43 percent, a statistic that doesn’t slow down until around January.

In order to supplement ICBC’s month long campaign to increase driver awareness of pedestrian safety this autumn, Park Insurance is here with our own guide to help you do the same.

5 Things Drivers Need to Do to Reduce the Risk of Accidents Involving Pedestrians in the Fall Season

1. Know the Risk Factors and Respond Accordingly

ICBC has compiled some very useful data, indicating the times of day and days of the week where risk of accidents involving pedestrians increases.

For one, you’ll want to drive with heightened awareness from 3 to 6 PM because most pedestrian related accidents occur within this window. The time frame says it all, as students are leaving class and adults are returning home from work. Be especially diligent in school zones and follow these 5 school year road safety precautions. If you can avoid running unnecessary errands during this timeframe, please do so.

Pedestrian accidents also occur most frequently on Wednesday and Thursday, as midweek fatigue sets in. Studies also show that moods take a dip on Wednesdays, as it is the day furthest away from the previous or forthcoming weekend. When you combine fatigue with irritability, you have a perfect storm for accidents on the road. Get lots of sleep and be mindful of your own state of mind as the midweek approaches while understanding that others may not, and drive accordingly.

2. Be Careful at the Crossroads

ICBC data also states that nearly 70 percent of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections, with BC’s Lower Mainland taking the brunt at 81%. Be ready at all times to yield to pedestrians when turning at intersections, and check around streetlight posts to make sure that a potentially crossing pedestrian isn’t hidden behind them.

3. Watch What Other Drivers Are Doing Too

You should be doing everything you can to lead by example on the road, but you will also want to look for cues from other drivers that a pedestrian may be nearby and/or crossing. For example, if you see that a vehicle has unexpectedly stopped in front of you or in the lane adjacent to yours, they may be yielding to a pedestrian.

4. Put an End to Distracted Driving

It’s hard enough to navigate the roads when the days are darker and weather is wetter, but you are much less likely to notice a pedestrian when you’re distracted. There are no qualms about it, distracted driving is a killer, and we must take immediate action to end it. Keep your smartphone out of reach to remove temptation and don’t fall victim to these common driver diversions while also being aware of unanticipated distractions. Park Insurance has gone another step further to investigate (and report on)  other potential causes, which includes everything from admiring roadside scenery to allowing pets in the vehicle. View these not-so-obvious but dangerous driving distractions to put the final nail in the coffin of the epidemic.

5. Minimize Night Driving, Especially if You Have Vision Issues

The days are getting shorter and on November 4 (2018) the clocks roll back to rob you of another daylight hour. If you are uncomfortable with driving in the dark, minimize the need to do so because it will be harder to spot pedestrians.

If you wear glasses while driving, consider having your prescription updated. There are numerous eyewear options that can lessen lens-induced distractions at night. For example, using amber-tinted lenses are great for retaining clear vision under low-light conditions and protect your vision against the glaring headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Another alternative, is to have your eyewear provider apply an anti-glare coating to your prescription lenses, which will reduce night glare. Another option is an anti-reflective coating which will eliminate light reflections all around your prescription glasses when driving during twilight and at night. Speak with your optometrist so that you can find an option that works best to help you better spot pedestrians on the dark roads of autumn.

Lastly, be extremely careful in residential areas on October 31st. From 3PM to late into the evening hoards of costumed kids, teens, and parents alike will be trick or treating in costumes that may make them harder to see, while impairing their own vision (when wearing masks).

For all of the preventative measures above, your risk of an accident involving pedestrians invariably increases at this time of the year. Contact an independent insurance broker right away to receive an assessment of your current automobile insurance policy. The last thing you want is to be left in the dark when it comes to protecting yourself from all of the liability concerns that come with the otherwise wondrous autumn season.

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