November The Most Dangerous Month For Pedestrians, Thanks To Time Change

Police offer tips on staying safe when you walk

It’s the month when the temperature dips and the streets get a little quieter, but November is also the month when pedestrians are involved in the most collisions, according to Toronto Police. The end of Daylight Saving Time, which came into effect on November 1, plays a big role in this fact.

Related Read: Home and Auto Safety Checklist

The number of pedestrians hurt or killed in traffic collisions is already high. Police say 60 per cent of people who die in traffic deaths in Toronto are pedestrians. To date, 30 pedestrians have been killed this year.

Toronto Police are now launching a “pedestrian safety campaign” called STEP UP and Be Safe. Police and parking enforcement officers are trying extra hard to watch drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who are putting themselves and others at risk at crosswalks, intersections, school zones, and neighbourhoods with lots of senior citizens (more than half of pedestrians killed are seniors).

So what should you do to stay safe? Here are some tips from the City of Toronto for walkers, drivers and cyclists:

Pedestrian Road Safety Tips

  • Stay on sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk against traffic and as close to the shoulder as possible.
  • Never jaywalk and when you’re waiting to cross the street, stand back from the roadway (never beside the curb).
  • Put away phones and video games.
  • Never start crossing at a crosswalk with a flashing red hand. You may not have enough to fully cross the street.
  • Never run across a crosswalk. Many people trip and fall in the middle of intersections putting themselves at risk.

Driver Road Safety Tips

  • Be on full alert for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • In areas without sidewalks, slow down when passing pedestrians and cyclists and give them extra room.
  • Don’t drive while distracted. It’s risky for everyone involved and distracted driving comes with some hefty fines.
  • If the car ahead of you is stopped at a pedestrian crossover, never pass the other driver even if the crosswalk lights aren’t flashing. They may be waiting for a pedestrian you can’t see.
  • Remember pedestrians and cyclists have the right-of-way in crosswalks. Watch for them when turning.

Related Read: New Ontario Rules Of The Road Come Into Effect

Cyclist Road Safety Tips

  • Be aware of drivers and pedestrians not paying attention, especially drivers who’ve parked and are about to open their car door.
  • Wear a helmet and light-coloured or reflective clothing, especially now that we’re heading into the darker months.
  • If you’re in a hurry, don’t race through intersections when the light is changing colour. Drivers around you may do the same.
  • Ride in a straight line whenever possible and always signal when you’re turning.
  • Stay one metre away from the curb (and parked cars) and don’t ride beside trucks and other large vehicles

Even if you take every precaution, others around you may not be doing the same. Toronto Police say collisions in the city are the driver’s fault 50 per cent of the time, while pedestrians are at fault the other 50 per cent of the time. Need more information? Check out this video, just released by police:

Their main message this season: be prepared, be seen, be safe.