It’s always important to be mindful of your surroundings when you drive. Along with watching out for traffic, pedestrians should be another main area of your focus. The Associated Press reports that pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicles surged by 10 percent in 2015.
This disturbing trend is rooted in many causes, including distracted driving and not paying attention to your surroundings. Below are some ways you can prevent a car accident from occurring.
A big reason for the surge in both pedestrian and traffic fatalities concerns distracted driving. People divide their attention between the road, the passengers in their vehicle, loud music, drinking coffee, and their cell phone.
The simplest solution is to place your cell phone in a cup holder with the screen facing away from you. This will eliminate the urge to glance down at it while driving. Along with this, you should lower your vehicle’s music when in congested areas, especially in urban parts and keep your eyes on a swivel, searching for pedestrians instead of engaging with passengers.
Practice Safe Driving Behaviors
If you are speeding in an area populated by people walking, chances are you might not have the quick reaction time needed in the event one of them moves away from the sidewalk and onto the road. Therefore, it’s important to observe all speed limits, as this gives you more time to react.
In addition, you want to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead of you, stop at red lights, and always look for pedestrian signs or be vigilant for people walking near city intersections. By taking the extra moment to absorb your surroundings, it can give you the time needed to make safer decisions.
Use Accident Avoidance Technologies
Many newer vehicles come with accident avoidance technologies with some featuring pedestrian detection. How this works is the vehicle uses cameras or sensors to read conditions around your vehicle. When it detects someone walking into the road it will alert you with a visual or audio warning.
Some systems are even set up to apply braking in the event you don’t respond quickly enough. While this equipment can be beneficial in tense situations, an over-reliance on it signifies you are not paying close enough attention to your surroundings, which could make you susceptible to accidents occurring.