Summer Road Safety Reminders for Drivers and Pedestrians

Whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver, be vigilant and take precautions to stay safe on the roads…

Summer is here and there is no better way to spend your free time than walking, running, hiking and enjoying the weather, but as a pedestrian or a driver, it is important to be vigilant and take precautions to stay safe.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation, of the 14,050 road fatalities recorded in SA in 2017, pedestrians accounted for a shocking 38 per cent, followed by passengers and drivers, which accounted for around 33 and 26 per cent respectively, with cyclists making up the remaining three per cent.

Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme encourages drivers to remain vigilant at all times and anticipate traffic situations on the road. This does not mean only looking out for other drivers, but pedestrians as well.

“Remember that a pedestrian stands very little chance of survival up against a car,” says Derek Kirkby, Training Director, Ford DSFL. “When you see a pedestrian crossing the road slow down. Even if it is illegal for them to cross at that section, you must be vigilant at all times. This includes pedestrians exiting taxis or weaving between the cars.”

Experts at Ford’s DSFL programme would like to offer motorists the following tips for a safer summer this year on SA roads:

For Pedestrians

  • Walk on a sidewalk or path. If one is not available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic.
  • Stay alert – don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including smart phones, tablets, and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  • Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you as they approach.
  • Be predictable. Cross streets at zebra crossings or intersections when possible.
  • If a zebra crossing or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
  • Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or carry a flashlight at night.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking – they impair your judgment and coordination.

For Drivers

  • Motorists need to be vigilant when driving in areas of pedestrian activity. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see – especially in poorly lit conditions.
  • Always stop for pedestrians at a zebra crossing.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at zebra crossings because they may have stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
  • Stay focused and slow down where children may be present, like parks and neighbourhoods.

Pedestrian safety remains one of the most important challenges to road safety. Visibility is key, so whether you are driving or walking this summer holiday, always keep your eyes on the road.