Over time, drivers can become lax with complying with traffic laws and develop bad habits, which can allow dangerous misconceptions to take hold.
These driving mistakes can put everyone at risk, but certain missteps are especially hazardous for pedestrians.
Green just means go
Traffic lights across British Columbia can tell us much more than stop, slow down and go. When drivers see a green light and drive through it without looking around, they could be putting pedestrians at risk.
As this article explains in more depth, “stale” green lights and flashing green lights can indicate that pedestrians are in the area or will soon be crossing. When drivers just drive through a light without paying attention to these signals, they could hit someone in or near the road.
Too often, drivers focus solely on looking out for other cars and trucks. Some don’t even do that, assuming that they can drive blindly – even just for a few seconds – without cause for concern. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see motorists do things like:
- Only looking for traffic from the left before turning right
- Moving through an intersection behind a large vehicle obscuring a traffic light
- Driving while visually distracted, like when texting
- Failing to use lights in times of low visibility
Drivers who move without looking can seriously threaten the safety of pedestrians, who are already more difficult to see.
Ignoring crosswalks and other pedestrian markings
Paying attention to traffic signals for motorists is vital, but these are not the only markings drivers must look for.
Unfortunately, drivers might ignore or violate pedestrian-related signage by creeping into the crossing zone while waiting at a light, failing to stop at pedestrian-activated
crosswalks and driving too fast through school zones.
Not only can these bad habits and poor decisions be illegal, but they can also be incredibly dangerous for pedestrians. Thus, it can be crucial for all road users to brush up on their traffic safety skills and comply with laws whenever they are behind the wheel.