Road safety: Tips for drivers and pedestrians

With spring weather around the corner (yes, really!), many of us are ditching our cars and choosing more physically active ways to get where we’re going. Soon, sidewalks will be flooded with our friends, neighbours and kids who are walking, running, rollerblading and cycling on their way from point A to point B.

Two kids riding scooters outside

It’s important both as a driver and as a pedestrian to stay safe and keep others safe while on or near roadways. So, our team here at Public Health wanted to share with you some road safety tips to keep in mind as our communities wake up and we stretch our legs after a long winter hibernation:

As a driver:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Watch your speed
  • Remember that distracted driving like texting and talking on your phone is unsafe and illegal
  • Note that young children under the age of five have not yet developed cognitive skills like depth perception, speed and distance needed to safely judge dangers of the road

Putting on lipstick while driving

Use extra caution where children and pedestrians are likely to be nearby:

  • School zones
  • Bus stops
  • Parks & playgrounds
  • Crosswalks
  • Residential areas
  • Parking lots

As a pedestrian:

Pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk

  • Where possible, use designated crossing areas, intersections or a cross walk (never jaywalk)
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street
  • Avoid using mobile devices when walking
  • Remove your headphones and listen for approaching traffic
  • Make eye contact with drivers before stepping out onto the road
  • When walking, running or cycling at night, ensure you are visible by wearing reflective clothing or carrying a flashlight.

As a parent, it’s important to be a role model for your children when teaching them road safety. Provide your child with simple tips to be a safe pedestrian that are easy to remember for when they are ready to walk on their own.

Do you use any tricks to teach your kids road safety?