“Falling Back” Safely

Daylight saving time came to an end this past weekend—fall back safely with these pedestrian and cyclist safety tips


This year, daylight saving time ended on Sunday, November 7 when we “fell back” one hour to standard time. While this means an extra hour of sleep for many, it also means darker commutes for motorists, and less visibility for pedestrians, cyclists, and others on our shared roads.


Eyewitness News recently reported that as of November 5, 11 pedestrians have been struck and killed on Long Island since October 1, the majority of them in Suffolk County. Police urge everyone on the roads to proceed with caution, especially as commutes grow darker. Check out these pedestrian safety tips for falling back safely this year.


See!


The “See!” part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee “See! Be Seen!” campaign encourages pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike to be aware of their surroundings at all times.


Pedestrians should avoid distractions, especially while crossing the street. Whether it’s a cell phone, head phones, or even a conversation with a fellow walker, these distractions can be deadly for pedestrians. Pedestrians should also walk against traffic when there is no sidewalk, as close to the left side of the road possible. When crossing, always look left, right, and left again. Additionally, pedestrians should always use crosswalks and obey crossing signals.


Drunk driving is always a hot topic of discussion, but drunk walking can be just as dangerous for pedestrians. When out and about as a pedestrian, it’s important to keep your wits about you and remain alert, especially as the days grow shorter.


Be Seen!


For pedestrians and cyclists, being seen can mean the difference between life and death on the road. “Be Seen!” encourages pedestrians to never assume that a driver has seen them. Pedestrians should establish eye contact with motorists when possible, or adjust their activity to make sure drivers are aware of their presence.


Gear Up


Cyclists and pedestrians should always wear light-colored clothing and add reflective material to increase visibility – especially when walking at night. As our daylight hours decrease, visibility becomes even more important.

Carrying a flashlight to increase your own visibility as a pedestrian is always a good idea, too. If you walk with a pet, make sure your pet’s collar or leash has some reflectivity to ensure they are visible to everyone on the road.

Cyclists are required to have lights on their bike by law, and for good reason. When riding in the dark, make sure your lights are up and running properly to ensure your visibility to others on the road.


Resources



About Walk Safe Long Island

Walk Safe Long Island (WSLI) is a pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign that aims to teach Long Islanders about walking and biking safely through law-based education. WSLI is produced for the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety by the Long Island Health Collaborative, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.


New York State is taking numerous measures to tackle the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety, all of which culminate in the New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP). The plan emphasizes making streets safer by implementing the “Three Es—” engineering, enforcement, and education. Walk Safe Long Island is part of the third “E,” education.

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