Sharing the road with pedestrians
In commonly accepted standards of etiquette as well as in many traffic regulations and laws, sharing the road with other people is a sign of respect that is expected from any driver out there. It is important to always remember that roads are public and can be used freely by anyone at any time under certain regulations; people should not object or oppose to provide enough road space to other cars, people, bicyclists or any other vehicle that may need it at some point or another. For these reasons, we present the best and most effective ways to share the road with other users and do it in a very ethical and precise way without harming oneself or other people.
Starting with pedestrians, the general rule states that pedestrians are the most delicate road user that must always be taken into consideration while sharing the road. Pedestrians have access to specially designed sidewalks and areas on the road in which they may freely walk when they are allowed to by the green and red lights focused solely on the pedestrian and not in the incoming or outgoing vehicles. Users of motorized vehicles have the absolute responsibility to cede the access to any pedestrian who is trying to pass along their respective road area.
In large cities, a major intersection usually includes both a traffic light for vehicles and one for pedestrians, in these cases; vehicles must come to a complete stop and let the flow of pedestrians pass in front of the traffic light. Those vehicles that must turn right or left to the other road must always look out for incoming pedestrians along the same direction as well, since the majority of vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents, injuries and deaths occur due to the lack of caring from drivers to look out for incoming pedestrians into the road which they are turning. Sharing the road with pedestrians can be very effective when these guidelines are followed precisely so that both vehicles and pedestrians can freely move through their designated areas on any public road.
- Yield to pedestrians crossing at intersections or in crosswalks.
- Right turn on red means stop, look in all directions, and then turn when it is safe. Look for pedestrians, and allow ample time for them to clear the crosswalk.
- Always reduce speed, and use extra caution when children are in the vicinity. They may fail to understand the danger and may run out in front of you without looking.
- You must observe school zone speed limits and stop for school buses when red signals are flashing.
- School zones and school bus stops are locations with high concentrations of children.
- Be patient with elderly pedestrians and pedestrians with disabilities. They need extra time to cross a street.
- Before backing up, always check for pedestrians in your path.
- Yield the right-of-way (slow down and prepare to stop) to blind pedestrians, whether they have a white cane or a guide dog, or are being led by others.
- When approaching a stopped vehicle from behind, slow down and do not pass until you are sure there are no pedestrians crossing in front of it.