Women Influence for Safer Roads in Namibia

Pedestrian Safety

AT some point during the day, everyone is a pedestrian. Each year so many families suffer as they lose their loved ones on our roads. Many leave their homes as they would on any given day never to return. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22 percent of all road traffic fatalities, and in some countries this proportion is as high as two thirds of all road traffic deaths. 

Millions of pedestrians are non-fatally injured – some of whom are left with permanent disabilities. These incidents cause much suffering and grief as well as economic hardship. The ability to respond to pedestrian safety is a significant factor of efforts to prevent road traffic injuries. Pedestrian collisions, just like other road traffic crashes, should not be accepted as inevitable because they are both predictable and preventable. 

The key risks to pedestrians are well documented and they include issues related to a broad range of factors: driver behaviour mostly in terms of speeding and drinking and driving; road infrastructure in terms of a non-existence of dedicated facilities for pedestrians such as sidewalks, raised crosswalks and medians; and vehicle design in terms of solid vehicle fronts which are not forgiving to pedestrians should they be hit. Poor trauma care services and also efforts to provide the urgent treatment needed to save pedestrian lives. 

Know the Basics —

Pedestrian Safety

Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.

If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.

Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.

Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.

If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.

Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.

Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.

Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

For this and more tips join the women in road safety Expo and Conference. Become a road safety champion in your region.