While we all learn that using a crosswalk is the absolute safest way to cross a city street, are crosswalks really saving lives? Could Washington crosswalks save more lives with a few changes? According to the most recent reports, some cities see almost half of their pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks – and many safety advocates believe that most of these crosswalk accidents are preventable. A number of cities across the country are considering making the crossing time longer at intersections, while others are examining crosswalks that have a long history of pedestrian accidents.
What can you do to minimize the chance of a pedestrian accident while using a Seattle crosswalk? • Realize that crosswalks don’t make you invincible. Just because you are in a crosswalk doesn’t mean that a car won’t hit you or that a car sees that you are there. • Give yourself enough time to cross. You don’t want to be in the road when the light turns green, as some drivers will rush forward without checking for those on foot. • You’re never too old to look both ways. Check for speeding cars, drivers who aren’t paying attention, or other hazards. Don’t just rely on the traffic lights. • Look out for others. While crossing the street, watch for others on foot that might need assistance, such as children, the elderly, or the disabled. They may take longer to cross and could benefit from assistance.