Motoring

Are you pedestrian-friendly? You should be

By making a few driving skills standard driving behaviour, fewer pedestrians may lose their lives.

In South Africa, pedestrians are the group of road users with the most fatalities. This is a tragedy that has plagued the world for a long time. In 1896 this week, the first pedestrian was killed after being hit by a car.

Today, the number of pedestrians could potentially be substantially reduced. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said, “By making a few driving skills standard driving behaviour, fewer pedestrians may lose their lives.”

• Make eye contact with pedestrians when possible. Never assume they know you are there and aware of your intended movement
• Exert extra caution in areas where pedestrians are commonplace, such as in city centres
• Check your blind spot for pedestrians as well
• Remember pedestrians always have right of way. Even if they do something wrong, it is your responsibility to avoid colliding with them.
• Be particularly careful at night. Keep an eye on the side of the road for people or a flash of movement across the road.

• If there is a pedestrian beside the road showing signs of intoxication, immediately increase the distance between yourselves and be ready in case they stumble and fall into your path
• Avoid distracted driving, it is an even bigger danger to pedestrians
• Immediately slow down around schools or areas where children are likely to be present and expect the unexpected. Children are not road savvy. Also, be cautious of children running across the road when moving around scholar transport
• Look before turning into a road, that is where a pedestrian is most likely to be – in the road
• Drive defensively and obey the speed limits
• Keep your lights on if you do not already to increase your visibility to pedestrians.

Being a pedestrian is a vulnerable position on the roads, but especially in South Africa. “Play your part in reducing pedestrian fatalities with a few adjustments to your driving,” said Herbert.

Source: MotorPress

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