The end of school and the start of summer, and good weather in Michigan… we hope! We all know that with summer comes lots of outdoor activities, but what we can easily forget as drivers is that THAT means there’s more pedestrian traffic as well as the risk of pedestrian hazards. Some potential pedestrian hazards are things like: kids playing ball in the front yard, families out on bike rides, scooters, hoverboards, skateboards or rollerblades. New drivers already have a lot to pay attention to, but in the the summer months, we need to factor in the addition of bikers, bicyclists, families and pets out on walks, and overall just more traffic on the roads as people tend to “cruise” (although, maybe not with these gas prices). Here are some helpful tips to keep yourself and pedestrians safe this summer:
- Have patience with everyone on the road. We’re all human and you don’t know what that person who aggravated you is going through. the important thing is that everyone safely gets to their destination.
- Always yield to pedestrians and cyclists, no matter how much of a hurry you are in or if you feel you have the right-of-way.
- Be aware of bike lanes and crosswalks where the cyclist or pedestrians would have the right-of-way and avoid driving in the bike lanes, even just to turn right at an intersection. Always double check to make sure no cyclists are in the bike lane, heading straight, before ever turning through a bike lane.
- Be extra cautious in neighborhoods and parking lots where little ones can dart between parked cars, making it hard to spot them and not giving you much time to stop for them. Reducing your speed in these high-risk areas can save lives! Pro tip: as you are scanning, keep an eye on the space underneath the cars for little feet (super helpful on residential streets).
- And of course, remove all distractions! Set a playlist before you start driving, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, and limit the number of friends you have with you in the vehicle.