U.S. drivers struck and killed an estimated 7,508 people on foot in 2022 according to the most recent data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This continues the upward trend that the United States has been experiencing for decades and represents the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1981.
We all have a role to play when it comes to preventing accidents. Please keep the following safety tips in mind when you are traveling in a vehicle, on foot or by bicycle around New Albany:
- Drivers should look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
- Always come to a complete stop at stop signs. This is important at every stop sign, but especially in neighborhoods where children might be at play.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk.
- Drivers must remember that once a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, that pedestrian has the right of way and the motorist must yield.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Be respectful and provide plenty of distance between your vehicle and bicycles and pedestrians. Drivers are required to give at least three feet of space when passing bikers, per Ohio law.
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey crossing signs and signals.
- Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers when out in the dark. Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Walk on sidewalks and leisure trails whenever they are available.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- It’s always important to cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians.
- At intersections, wait until the traffic signal alerts you that it is safe to cross. Or push the button at one of our designated pedestrian crossings to alert motorists that you are about to cross.
- Pedestrians have the right of way once they enter the crosswalk, but look and listen for a safe gap in the traffic before crossing.
- Do not cut across the center island of roundabouts. The same rules apply at roundabouts as with regular intersections. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks but look and listen for safe gaps in traffic before trying to cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- If you’re on bicycle, remember to wear a helmet. Helmets are required in New Albany for anyone under the age of 18.
- Bicycles are allowed on the sidewalks and recreation paths in New Albany. Be respectful and provide plenty of distance between your bicycle and pedestrians. Also be sure to warn pedestrians when you are passing.