With the weather being as temperamental as it has been lately, more and more utility trucks are on the road making sure that no one is suffering from loss of electricity.
True, when the weather is bad, there are significantly fewer vehicles on the roads; but that’s no reason for pedestrians to disregard safety precautions if they’re out and about. Whether there’s a blizzard or the sun is shining, if you’re traveling by foot, these tips should always be on your mind.
1. Look Both Ways Before Crossing The Street.
There’s a reason you learned to “stop, look, and listen” way back in elementary school. And that reason is so you don’t land yourself in the emergency room or even six feet under just by stepping into the street. It’s a shame, but believe it or not, some adults need to be reminded of proper street crossing etiquette. Be sure to look up and down the street before attempting to cross at any time. Never walk directly into traffic, or you may end up like the 70-year-old lady in Alabama who was hit by a utility truck earlier this year. And I’d imagine a utility truck would hurt much more than being hit by a two-passenger Smart car.
2. Do Not Text And Cross.
We think that just because we’re not behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, it’s totally okay for us to text and walk. Sure, texting while walking along the sidewalk may be acceptable if you’re familiar with the area and are not preparing to approach an intersection. But as pedestrians, it is our responsibility to know when texting is and is not acceptable. Listening for traffic while you’re looking down at your phone is not enough. When you’re about to cross the street, it is imperative that your complete concentration is dedicated to safely moving from one sidewalk to the next.
3. Watch Your Step.
Always be mindful of sidewalk conditions. If it’s icy, take your time. Slipping on a patch of black ice could be as detrimental as being hit by a car. And be sure that when you prepare to cross the street, you take into consideration the height of the sidewalk. If a cross walk is not an option, then be sure to watch your step as you go from the sidewalk to street pavement. Some areas of sidewalk are higher than others, and if you’re not expecting it, the difference can cause you to lose your balance. And tripping into oncoming traffic…not such a good idea.
4. Wear Appropriate Shoes.
One of the most important safety precautions we as pedestrians need to take is to always don the appropriate footwear. Common sense tells us that flip-flops are completely unacceptable footwear in the snow. It would also be a wise decision to avoid wearing high heels in the rain, sleet, ice, or snow. Sure, your feet are elevated from the natural elements, but the lack of traction on your shoes can be just as dangerous. Snow boots are never out of the question when snow has covered the sidewalks and is beginning to stick to the streets. If necessary, carry a change of shoes for when you reach your destination.
5. Never Try To Cross A Highway.
The more I listen to the news, the more I lose faith in humanity. There is absolutely no reason to try to cross a busy highway. You shouldn’t even be walking along the side of the highway. If your car breaks down, call AAA or a friend and wait there until they arrive.
These five serious safety precautions should be helpful for pedestrians when they’re on the move. The weather may not always be the best, so be sure to dress appropriately, and look out not just for utility trucks but for any movement on the streets whatsoever before you attempt to cross to the other side.
Rose Boettinger is a professional blogger who does online PR and communications for companies like Reading Body, a builder of the most rugged truck bodies for every job for over 50 years.