According to Kenya’s road safety authority – National Transport and Safety authority (NTSA) statistics, over 3,000 people die due to road accidents every year.
Major causes of accidents are avoidable human errors and drunk driving. Even though mainly drivers are to blame, pedestrians too sometimes cause these accidents for example in a situation where a driver swerves off the road to avoid hitting a careless pedestrian and ends up rolling or hitting head-on on coming traffic causing death or serious injury.
Out of the over three thousand people that die on the road annually, pedestrians take the major share. In some instances they become victims of hit and run accidents where the driver involved does not even stop to check on the status the pedestrian he has hit is in, but instead speeds off.
So as a pedestrian, what should you do in order not to get involved in a road accident? What safety precautions should you observe in order not to get run over by speeding vehicles on the road? Here is a list of the DOs and DONTs.
1. Walk on the right side
Vehicles driving on Kenyan roads are right handed. This means that they are driven on the left lane. When you walk on the right side makes you aware of the on-coming traffic because that is the side you are on, while you are walking on the outside of the continuous white line. Do not step on the inside.
2. Situation awareness
As a pedestrian while walking along the road, you should always be alert at all times. There are times when a vehicle loses control, swerving on the lanes and even over to pedestrian walks. You should at all times look out for such and similar situations and be quick to avoid getting hit.
3. Do not cross if unsure
When you want to cross the road, make sure the road is clear or on coming vehicles are far off. Correctly estimate the speed and distance of on coming vehicles before crossing. Vehicles like tractors drive at a lower speed so you can cross when they are a bit near but vehicles like saloon cars and SUVs move at higher speeds so you may have to be a little bit patient.
4. Do not drink and walk
You can drink and walk, It’s allowed but not safe at all while walking along a busy road. A drunk person would tend to stagger and that would not be safe on a busy road at all. When you know you will be walking along a busy road, you better give up that liquor first or if you can’t, make a taxi arrangement prior to your indulgence.
5. Avoid smartphones and earphones
We live in a technological era where almost everyone has a smartphone. Smartphones have too many features that could make pedestrians too much into them while walking on a busy road. Staring at your smartphone while listening to music on your earphones is a double risk that should be avoided. Keep off your phone and music for a while please, you still need your life.
6. Cross at the designated crossing points
Pedestrians should only cross the road at the correct crossing points such as flyovers and traffic lights. Do not just cross at any point.
7. Walk on the sidewalks
Modern highways have pedestrian sidewalks. They are made to be safe and far away from the main highway. You are better off walking on the sidewalks than along the highway.
Accidents may be unavoidable but many are avoidable. As a pedestrian, you have to always be careful to avoid getting involved in an accident.