8 tips for staying safe on the road
Published: September 22, 2023
Texas traffic fatality data from 2022 shows September recorded the most motor-vehicle deaths1. Pedestrians and motorists can both take action to make roads safer. Here are 8 tips to help people on the go — in Texas and beyond —arrive safely.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians23:
1. Walk on sidewalks. If a street has no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic, away from vehicles.
2. Use crosswalks and intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those that might be turning.
3. Know when to cross the road. Research local laws to know when you have the right-of-way to cross, both at crosswalks and intersections.
4. Avoid distracted walking. Put away your phone, earphones, and other listening devices so that you are aware of your surroundings.
Safety Tips for Drivers45:
1. Use turn signals. Using signals to inform other drivers and pedestrians of your intention to turn or change lanes can help everyone travel safely.
2. Respect crosswalks. Do not block crosswalks or pass stopped cars as pedestrians may be walking.
3. Stick to the speed limit. Adherence is particularly important in pedestrian-heavy areas, near schools, and in neighborhoods with kids.
4. Be alert. Keep your focus on driving, especially during inclement weather and at nighttime.
Safe streets are important for active transportation, which includes walking or biking. The creation of conditions in which active transportation is safe can encourage people to incorporate physical activity into their commute.
The Safe TRavel Environment Evaluation in Texas Schools (STREETS) Study here at the Center is investigating how improvements in the safety and quality of active routes to school are impacting the physical activity levels of Austin students. Read more about the project, and view our September webinar to hear from Sarah S. Bentley, MPH, the project’s director.
Written by Emily Torres, MPH candidate and graduate research assistant at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health in Austin.