Pedestrian Safety

One of the more common types of injuries Community Medics attends to are vehicle related incidents, including pedestrian vehicle collisions.  This is where a pedestrian has been hit by a vehicle.

The reasons vary, from people walking in the dark with no reflective clothing, jaywalking (which means crossing anywhere except at a pedestrian crossing), running in front of cars, distracted drivers on cell phones or adjusting their radios, drunk drivers and drunk pedestrians.  Injuries also vary, from bruising, cuts and abrasions to fractured ankles and legs, to months out of action with a fractured pelvis, concussions and other head injuries and even permanent disablement or death.

If you hit a pedestrian or you witness this happening, phone Community Medics on 087 230 0404 and also phone the local police station.  

The size of the pedestrian can make a difference to the type of injuries they sustain.  A child is shorter and may be hit on their upper body or head, an adult may be hit in their thigh or pelvic area.  A car is traveling at speed, a speed human bodies are not built to withstand. Injuries are often very serious when people and vehicles collide.  Drivers may also be injured in such incidents.

 

What are the pedestrian safety dos and don’ts:

  • Walk in single file
  • Walk on the pavement
  • Walk to face oncoming traffic
  • Cross at pedestrian crossings or intersections
  • Look before you cross
  • Wait for the little green figure
  • If it is dark, place reflective strips on clothing or bags
  • Don’t run across the road
  • Don’t cross the road at random places – especially blind corners or rises
  • Don’t walk with earphones in – you can’t hear the traffic or hooters
  • Don’t walk on or cross a freeway
  • When you alight a bus, move away from the bus and wait for it to depart before crossing.  If you must cross the road before it has departed, do so from behind not in front of the bus

Special tips for parents of school going aged children:

  • Don’t let young children walk to or from school alone until they can judge vehicle distance and understand the rules of the road (usually around age 8-9)
  • Request that your school ask the traffic department to visit and teach children about road safety
  • Ask your children’s school about starting walking trains/ walking busses / walking crocodiles to help those parents who must leave for work before it is light – better yet, be the parent who implements this.  http://www.walkingschoolbus.org/
  • Encourage your school to start a scholar patrol
  • Ask the school to request that reflective strips be made part of winter rain jackets – encourage parents to sew these on the arms and backs of jackets
  • Encourage the school to allow reflective bibs to be purchased for children who walk to school in the dark to wear over their blazers? Hold a cake sale or civvies day to fundraise for this, can parents afford to buy them? Can a company be asked to sponsor them?
  • Remind children that they are short and cars can’t see them in parking lots
  • Remind children not to cross in front of a bus when they get off, but to walk behind it so that drivers can see them –  or better yet, to wait on the pavement until the bus has left
  • If something falls under a bus, leave it there, don’t try to get it until the bus has passed and the road is clear

Drivers:

  • Stop at pedestrian crossings – pedestrians have right of way there – not cars
  • Beware of people walking in parking lots
  • Don’t be distracted by cell phones or other devices while driving
  • Be patient, a one or two second wait doesn’t impact your travel time
  • Take care when passing stationary vehicles or buses as people may alight from them and walk out into the road

 

Community Medics is a registered non profit organisation and public benefit organisation.  We do not charge for our assistance at medical emergencies, and we are staffed by volunteers.  We are able to cover our costs with donations and debit orders from the communities we service.  Please consider a recurring monthly payment to us or a donation so that we can be there should you or your family have a medical emergency.  Minutes count, and our members volunteer in the communities they live in and can respond promptly. Our dispatch division also operates 24 hours per day and will arrange all other necessary resources required for an incident based on the feedback given by our medics on scene.  

www.communitymedics.org.za