As winter kicks into full swing and the “snowbirds” descend, Naples roadways and sidewalks will become a lot more crowded. Florida’s busy season also means an increased risk for a Naples pedestrian accident. As two recent pedestrian fatalities in Cape Coral and Fort Myers highlight, pedestrian accidents often result in serious and often life-threatening injuries.
Therefore, it is imperative for both drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution and follow the rules of the road. Below is a quick reminder from the NHTSA:
- Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever they are available.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including radios, smartphones, and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road environment.
- Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles.
- Never assume a driver sees you.
- Be predictable as a pedestrian.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians. If a crosswalk 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.
- Stay off of freeways, restricted-access highways, and other pedestrian-prohibited roadways. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment, too.
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
- Be especially vigilant for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop, too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around pedestrians.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present