“In Ontario, we see at least one pedestrian hit by a vehicle every single day,” said Jane Edwards, London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) Injury Prevention Specialist
With the wintertime fast approaching, road conditions deteriorate making slips and falls a common sight at the LHSC’s trauma centre. Edwards says pedestrians need to be extra cautious during the winter.
As soon as the walk signal appears at intersections, it is common to see pedestrians cross without checking for any vehicles in the area. “Yes, it’s your right of way and that’s great, but you have to look around and make eye contact with any drivers first,” said Edwards.
“The law is the law, but who is going to lose in a collision? The pedestrian. They are the ones who don’t have an airbag or all that steel around them,” she added.
Although being distracted behind the wheel has always been an issue, Edwards notes that distracted waking is now a common trend. She says it is important for pedestrians to put away their cellphones, or any gadget, when crossing any intersections.
“Is it worth it? You can send that text or Snapchat later. There’s no need to do that when you’re crossing a road. You’re the one who is going to lose against a vehicle and you don’t ever want to be in that situation,” Edwards added.
Tips to stay safe as a pedestrian this winter:
- Cross only at intersections, crosswalks, or stop signs
- Make eye contact with near-by drivers
- Pay attention to the road and not to your cellphone
- Wear bright and reflective clothing
- Have reflectors on your backpack
- Use appropriate footwear
- Go slow. Give yourself enough time to get to places
Edwards adds that pedestrians cannot solely blame drivers for accidents. “We’re all users of the roadway and we all need to take responsibility. You can’t just leave it to drivers. Pedestrians need to also follow the rules of the road,” she said.