If you are a parent of a child who walks or bikes to school, you likely know how important it is that he or she takes the safest route available. This would be a route that limits a child's exposure to heavy traffic and has crosswalks with traffic lights, stop signs or crossing guards.
Much attention has been given to the dangers posed by distracted driving. You likely already understand that when you divert your attention to operate a mobile device while driving that you are not concentrating on the road, which could easily lead to an accident. But the fact is while distracted driving is dangerous, so too is distracted walking.
Local municipalities have a duty to make sure that their streets are as safe as possible for pedestrians to cross. This means that traffic lights should always function and traffic signs should always be visible. Moreover, if it comes to the attention of a local government that a specific area is especially dangerous, there should be steps taken to correct the problem.
Winter is in full force in the northeast and snow and ice is a common sight throughout the region. But no matter how severe the conditions may get, Rhode Islanders still have to get on with the business of living their lives, even if the streets and sidewalks are treacherously slick. And sometimes it is necessary to brave the elements to get things done.
Everyone needs some exercise in order to maintain good physical health. While anyone who exercises will reap a measure of rewards, it is perhaps those who are age 65 or older that may receive the most benefits. Age affects our mobility, strength and agility. Regular exercise can help counter the effects of aging, which in turn can help older individuals maintain their independence.
Every year, many pedestrians are injured and even killed in accidents involving automobiles. Since, at some point or another, we all must walk and cross the street, we are all subjected to the dangers presented by automobile traffic. But both pedestrians and motorists bear responsibility regarding safety.
Most of us are able to avoid accidents because we have the gifts of sight and hearing. If we step off the curb, only to see or hear a vehicle speeding in our direction that appears to have no intention of stopping, we have the ability to react and try to get out of the way.
It is back to school time, and the streets and sidewalks will now see an uptick in foot traffic. Specifically, there will be many more little pedestrians who motorists must keep a look out for in the mornings and afternoons. Motor vehicle traffic can be especially dangerous for younger pedestrians. Children often lack the judgment of adults and may unexpectedly dart out into the street in front of oncoming cars. And of course, their diminutive size can make them harder to spot when around the road.
Even though pedestrians should always be granted the right of way, sometimes drivers fail to do so. As such, everyone must stay alert for oncoming traffic when walking across the street. This point was emphatically made recently in Rutland, Massachusetts, when two adult pedestrians were nearly struck in a crosswalk by a distracted driver. But the two pedestrians were not your average citizens; they were police officers.
Some activities become so routine that adults may forget the dangers they harbor. Take, for example, crossing the street. We know we should always cross at a crosswalk and that we should be careful when doing so. However, for children, crossing the street safely is a learned behavior. To help protect them from being injured by automobiles, children should be shown, as well as told, how to cross.