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As the weather warms up, people take to the road and want to spend more time outdoors. In particular, an increasing number of bicyclists and pedestrians join the thoroughfares, and motorists need to be on alert to watch out for them.
It takes a united effort on the part of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to make roads safe for everyone, and getting back into the habit of following safety guidelines becomes crucial for avoiding accidents. This is especially relevant in heavily populated areas, such as New York City and Long Island where there is a considerable amount of traffic.
Safety Guidelines for Motorists
- Stop your vehicle for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Adhere to the posted speed limit and slow down when approaching pedestrians and bicyclists who are sharing the road.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists when making turns.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
- Take extra precautions and drive slowly when passing stopped vehicles.
- Allow three feet of space between your vehicle and a bicyclist when passing bicyclists.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Walkers and runners must pay attention to traffic. Times when visibility is the worst are at night, dawn and dusk. If walking or running, you should avoid these times as much as possible. The New York State Health Department website provides a number of tips to safeguard pedestrians. Here are a few that can help keep you safe:
- If walking at night, at dusk or during early morning, wear light and bright clothes to be as visible as possible for drivers and carry a flashlight.
- Use extreme caution when crossing intersections that have no signals, and whenever possible walk in areas that have crosswalks with traffic signals.
- Always look in all directions before crossing a street to ensure there is no oncoming traffic.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if there is one and walk facing traffic when there is no sidewalk.
- Obey all traffic signals and signs.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
- Do not bicycle while wearing headphones because you lessen your ability to hear approaching vehicles.
- Make sure you slow down and check for traffic before entering an intersection or street.
- Make yourself predictable for motorists by riding with the flow of traffic, by staying on the right side of the road and by not weaving in and out of parked vehicles.
- Abide by traffic laws and check carefully before moving into the left side of a traffic lane to make a left turn.
- Try to anticipate traffic dangers and adjust your position as needed.