Keeping an Eye Out for Pedestrians and Driver Fatigue

Woman driving a car while yawning

Even though it’s winter we all still have to drive places, and those who walk are in the same boat. With darkness starting earlier, longer nights, and general inclement weather, winter is a particular hazardous time for vehicle and pedestrian accidents. During an Alberta winter it’s a lot harder to see people walking, so stay alert, whether you’re on the sidewalk or in the road. Preventing senseless accidents between automobiles and people on foot is a shared responsibility, and will save you a rise in your auto insurance rates.

Be Well Rested on the Road

As well as watching out for pedestrians as all times, given the rural nature of much of Alberta, driver fatigue is another prime concern. A major cause of accidents, driving while you are exhausted is very nearly statistically dangerous as is driving while intoxicated. According to the federal government, one in five fatal crashes in Canada involves not alcohol but driver fatigue. You can be completely sober when pulled over, or stopped at a checkpoint, and still be disqualified from driving for up to 24 hours based upon your poor physical condition. Driver fatigue makes dealing with any type of driving distraction, such as road crossing wildlife, or “unexpected” pedestrians, that much more difficult to deal with. We understand that some folks cover long distances for holiday trips, but leave yourself some margin for needed rest.

Tips For Pedestrians

As a pedestrian, a good deal of your traffic safety is in your own hands. You owe it to yourself, and to the drivers out there, to follow some basic safety precautions so that you don’t become a tragic statistic.

Especially in winter, when visibility is lower, its common sense to make yourself as easy to see as you can. If you walk a lot, avoid black and dark-coloured parkas and coats and get something that is easier to see you in. When you have the choice between two or more similar jackets or pairs of footwear, get the one that has some reflective material upon it. Even a little reflectivity goes a long way.

As with driving, don’t walk while you are impaired by alcohol. It’s time to call for a cab, or board a bus. Staggering about near the street makes you difficult to predict as a pedestrian. Impaired judgement also may lead to rash decisions such as suddenly jaywalking, or crossing streets against the light. It should almost go without saying that if there is snow or ice about, having a diminished sense of balance is less than ideal. You are legally protected within the confines of a marked crosswalk, but if you stray from it a great deal, or fall upon the roadway, you could be the cause of the accident you suffer.

Stay Safe on Two Feet or Four Wheels

Until such a day comes when your car can drive you home, or automatically avoid accidents, you will have to exercise solid judgement when driving during the winter. For now, contact Bow Valley Insurance for a free automobile insurance quote that is tailored to your circumstances and which could save you money.