Last month I wrote about how 2014 has been the safest year on record for pedestrians in Vancouver. With darker, rainier days ahead, this could soon change.
According to ICBC, pedestrian-related collisions increase by 76 percent between November and January.
In Vancouver, there were 30,066 reported collisions involving pedestrians between 2005 and 2010, an average of 511 cases annually. Half of those occurred between November and February. Collisions were highest in November followed by January. In BC 55 pedestrians are killed each year with 33 deaths this year so far.
“It’s an issue all over our province,” said Jill Blacklock, road safety manager at ICBC in The Province. “This is a conversation we want to have.”
ICBC found that 75 percent of crashes involving pedestrians occurred at intersections when pedestrians had the right-of-way. They also say that many collisions happen because the driver, pedestrian, or both were distracted.
“In a collision, the pedestrian is going to lose, regardless of whose fault it is. You’ll never win that battle,” said Vancouver police Const. Brian Montague.
Help keep everyone safe during these dreary months with the following tips:
- Be ready to yield to pedestrians – especially at intersections and near transit stops where pedestrians may not use crosswalks.
- When turning at an intersection look twice to make sure there are no pedestrian’s crossing.
- Give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street.
- Always make eye contact with drivers. Never assume that a driver has seen you.
- Focus your full attention on what’s happening around you. Remove your headphones and never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersection or while crossing.
- Be seen. Wear reflective clothing or use reflective gear to make it easier for drivers to see you.
- Be extra cautious at intersections. Watch for vehicles turning left or right through the crosswalk. Always cross at designated crosswalks – never mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and never cross once the signal has turned yellow or red.
Remember Eyes up, phones down. Use all of your senses when on the move!
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