Distracted Pedestrian | 5 Tips For Safety
Are you guilty of being a Distracted Pedestrian? Distracted walking is a real thing, and that is actually alarming. On average when glancing down at your phone you take 5 full seconds to process what you’re looking at. This is why distracted driving is so dangerous, and there are now laws in place, but it took us a while to get there. Walking while distracted is as dangerous to you, and those around you even though it may seem harmless.
Many Canadian cities are still considering putting laws in place for distracted walking, especially after the Pokemon Go craze. Calgary has rejected a law so far but has put forth the potential for ticketing, if a person is found to be putting themselves, or others in danger by being distracted while crossing the street.
Sometimes we get lost in our own heads, and our bodies almost go into autopilot, now add music or a phone into the mix. I’ve seen people walk into buildings, poles, people and oncoming traffic all because their latest social media posts are too gripping to look away from. While being an onlooker in some of these situations is enough to giggle, or shake your head. But, these are the people that could get in their vehicle and do the same thing too. The laws and proper insurance coverages are in place for protection, and for a reason, but even then you still see it happening.
Social media, and being connected 24/7 is the nature of the world now. Putting yourself in jeopardy and becoming a distracted pedestrian because of it, is not worth it.
Statistics show that 1000’s of people are injured every year by texting and walking. Injured enough, in fact, to have to seek medical attention…that is beyond NUTS! These are individuals who have had to seek medical attention, not those who remedied themselves at home. Because they were too embarrassed about how they got hurt in the first place.
Here are some safety tips, because we know that you’re going to be on your phone, please be responsible and less of a distracted pedestrian.
1. Obey All Traffic Signals
When approaching an intersection, take a break, and take in your surroundings. Put the phone away until you’re across the street. Do not look down at your phone when crossing. This makes you completely unaware and is beyond annoying to drivers. Plus you can get a $78.00 ticket if found to be dawdling.
2. Cross At Intersections
Don’t jaywalk. Use crosswalks for their intended purpose, and use them while looking up, and side to side. Don’t attempt to cross between parked vehicles or blind spots. Obey bike lanes, they have the right of way here too.
3. Weather Visibility
During inclement weather, be even more mindful of what is going on around you, especially when crossing the street. You become invisible when in heavy rain, and snow, especially with your head down. Walk with conviction, and know whats going on!
4. CTrains, Trains and Uncontrolled Intersections
More accidents and fatalities involved with trains are reported than I can even fathom, all because of distraction. When at any type of train crossing or platform, be present. Remove your headphones, and put your phone in your pocket. Use the signals, and cross when instructed to do so.
For everyone’s sake, put the phone away, it’s the law. If you need to make a call, do it hands-free, but remember you’re driving and that is your first priority. Turn off all cell phone notifications while in your vehicle. That way you won’t be tempted to look while you’re at a red light.
Be safe, and look out for those around you. Most of all, don’t be a Distracted Pedestrian!