Want to be Street Smart? You’ve come to the right place for information to help keep pedestrians safe.

It’s OK to enjoy your drink. But if you’re walking, be even more careful!

Enjoying liquid cheer is common during the holidays, but even one or two drinks can decrease your ability to judge the speed of approaching cars, slow your reaction time and affect your “evasion skills.”Nationally, 34% of pedestrian fatalities involved pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Look left, look right, look left again before stepping into the street and keep looking while you cross.  Use the crosswalk at a traffic light whenever possible, and start walking when the light indicates it’s safe.  Start walking right away – if you’re distracted and don’t get going right away, you may want to wait until the next green light.And if you are out driving during holiday evenings or events, please slow down and watch for inattentive or impaired pedestrians. Click here for more tips for drivers.

Drivers don’t have night vision

Be extra cautious walking at dusk and at nighttime… it’s harder for drivers to see you and by the time they do, they may not have time to react and stop. Seeing and being seen is the key to staying safe. If you’re out and about on the streets for holiday nighttime events, unless you’re wearing neon or flashing holiday lights as part of your outfit… you may not be seen by drivers at all. So, be extra alert. Wear light, bright clothing and/or something reflective if you can. Make yourself visible and never assume a driver has noticed you. Remember, drivers don’t have night vision and they can’t read your mind.  Click here for an illustration contrasting pedestrian visibility at night and vehicle stopping distances.

Sam Walker demonstrates stopping distance and the importance for driver and pedestrian safety

Pedestrians only have the right of way when drivers can reasonably stop. At 20 mph, the total stopping distance needed is 69 feet; at 30 mph it’s 123 feet and at 40 mph it’s 189 feet. Slippery roads and other factors can increase the distances needed to stop. At night, without additional street lighting, drivers may be only able to see as far as their headlights — 160 feet.Wear light or bright colors, reflective material and flashing lights to increase your visibility. Also, make eye contact with drivers before you step into the street. Make sure they see you, plan on stopping, and have time to stop.Download spot – H264 format 

I was jaywalking when it hit me

Always cross at crosswalks or intersections… where drivers expect you to be!  Drivers are more likely to be prepared to stop at intersections. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph has a 20% or less chance of surviving. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling only 20 mph has an 80% chance of surviving.  Who do you think would win this one: you at maybe 200 pounds traveling at 2mph versus an SUV at 4000 pounds going 40 mph. Are you sure you want to take that chance by stepping out into the street where you’re not supposed to cross?