As a driver or passenger in a vehicle that is involved in the violence of a crash, you are protected by layers of metal, airbags, seatbelts, and headrests. Imagine how much more likely you are to sustain serious injuries if you are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist?
Employees at pest control companies operating in densely populated urban areas are used to avoiding food delivery people or messengers on bikes zipping along city streets. Combine that with more cities adding dedicated bike lanes for commuters and recreation enthusiasts, and the odds of an unwanted encounter between service vehicle and pedestrian and bicyclist increase.
When we accept the responsibility of operating a vehicle, we also accept responsibility for pedestrian and bicyclist safety when we share the road. As drivers, we should always keep in mind that a pedestrian or bicyclist could be in our vicinity and here are a few areas that require special precautions.
Although it’s more common to encounter children walking to school in urban areas than rural, the concentration of pedestrian traffic is always high around schools. This zone has a reduced speed limit and increased fine amount for traffic citations to encourage drivers to slow down and be hyper aware of their surroundings.
Parking lots are equally the domain of vehicles and people. Each vehicle parked in a parking lot must be walked to and from by a driver and several passengers. Use extreme caution when driving through parking lots. Although it is tempting to focus all your attention on finding a great spot, remember that there are usually no specific walkways for pedestrians in parking lots. Constantly scan the lot in front of you and check your mirrors for people.
If you live in a downtown area, you are used to sharing the road with people. Drivers from suburban or rural areas are often taken aback by the volume of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists looking to share the roadways while driving in the city. Never trust a green light to mean that all pedestrians have safely made it to the other side of the street. Look both ways and proceed with caution.
More municipalities have installed dedicated bike lanes on their roadways for both recreational cyclists and delivery people. Be aware of and respect these lanes. Do not use them to turn right on red. Not only is that illegal in some states but it is dangerous.
Festivals, concerts, and sporting events create an influx of pedestrians on roadways. If you are aware of an upcoming event on your normal route, take a detour that keeps you clear of potential collisions with pedestrians.
Many holidays are celebrated by people taking to the streets. Memorial Day, Pride Week, Fourth of July, among others, are commonly accompanied by parades. If you must drive in the vicinity of a parade route, use extreme caution and watch out for small children.
Safe Driving Tips When Around Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Be mindful of pedestrians even when they are not in crosswalks
- Look for bike or pedestrian traffic in the area you are turning into
- Don’t text or talk on a phone when driving
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit
- Look before opening your door
- Be careful when passing stopped vehicles
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists when turning
- Allow at least three feet when passing bicyclists
- Keep an eye out for bike lanes
- Watch for the bicyclist’s hand signals
- Give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance
- Turn on your headlights at dusk to make your vehicle more visible to slower moving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Make sure there is enough room to safely pass, and you can gauge the bicyclist’s direction
- Acknowledge bicyclists and pedestrians with eye contact or a wave
- Don’t honk; honking your horn can startle the bicyclist and send him veering into traffic or a curb
PestSure – Your Partner in Safety
Founded in 1980, PestSure is the only insurance and risk management provider that is 100 percent dedicated to the pest management industry. It offers industry professionals a full suite of insurance, risk management, and safety training and education offerings.
PestSure provides insurance, safety and risk management consulting to pest management companies representing $2 billion in revenue, $750 million in payroll and more than 16,500 service vehicles. The program is administered by Alliant Insurance Services.
Call 888.984.3813 or visit our contact page for more information.