October is National Pedestrian Safety Month
Whether it’s a fitness routine, mode of travel to a destination or simply picking up the mail, we are all pedestrians at some point during our days. This October marks the second annual National Pedestrian Safety Month, launched in 2020 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The month is a great time to reflect on roadway safety and remind all Montana travelers that the responsibility of keeping everyone safe is shared. Montanans know that as fall approaches, daylight hours are shorter, meaning that visibility of pedestrians also decreases. NHTSA reports that from September to February, over 30% of pedestrian fatalities nationally occur between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.
While fall and winter can significantly decrease hours of high visibility, there are tools that both motorists and pedestrians can utilize to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.
Motorists can protect pedestrians by:
• Using extra caution in low-light conditions and bad weather.
• Preparing to slow or stop when pedestrians can be expected, like when entering or turning at a crosswalk, backing out of a driveway or parking area that intersects a sidewalk, and in school zones.
• Following posted speed limits, staying alert and avoiding distractions.
• Never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Pedestrians can increase their safety by:
• Walking on sidewalks whenever available or facing traffic when a sidewalk isn’t available.
• Using a flashlight and wearing reflective materials to increase visibility.
• Looking both ways and crossing where drivers expect pedestrians, such as crosswalks or intersections.
• Staying alert and avoiding distractions.
October is a great month to learn about safe behavior for all travelers, as well as continue the year-round focus on Vision Zero and the goal of ending deaths and serious injuries on Montana’s roadways. Find more tips and resources