Heads Up, Phones Down: Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety

Posted on 2/11/2019 9:00:24 AM

With winter fully upon us, reduced visibility and hazardous road conditions make for a dangerous season for vehicles and pedestrians. These tips can help prevent an accident from occurring on our campus.

Safety Practices for Pedestrians

Be Visible

Make sure you’re visible to drivers at all times, and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn, or in inclement weather.

  • Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
  • Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
  • If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.

Stay Alert, Avoid Distractions

Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out.

  • Put down your phone. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off of the road and distract your attention.
  • Don’t wear headphones. Your ears will tell you a lot about what is happening around you—be sure to use them.

Know the Law

  • When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  • No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.
  • Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.

Safety Practices for Drivers

Be Alert at Crosswalks

  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • When approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop.
  • When you are stopped at a crosswalk, allow enough room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrians you have stopped for.
  • Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They have stopped to allow pedestrians to pass or make sure the way is clear.

Pedestrian Safety Tips from PennDOT

This message brought to you by the Emergency Management Office.