Pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers: Safety tips for students
If you walk
In 2016, 334 pedestrians in Canada died in traffic collisions—that’s almost 1 person a day! And that’s not even counting the pedestrians who suffered minor or serious injuries (or walked away unscathed) after being hit by a car. Avoid becoming a statistic by keeping these things in mind:
1. Put your phone down before crossing the street
Sure, whatever you’re doing on your phone is important—but it only takes a second to look up and make sure the coast is clear before you cross the road.
2. Make eye contact with drivers
Never assume a driver has seen you. Making eye contact before you cross is a great way to prevent accidents.
3. Only cross at intersections and crosswalks
Never jaywalk—always use crosswalks or cross at intersections. If there’s a pedestrian light, push the button and wait for the white walking signal.
4. Obey traffic signals
If there’s an orange hand on the pedestrian light, don’t cross! Wait for the white walking signal.
5. Don’t assume all drivers have seen you
Just because one driver slows down or stops to let you cross, that doesn’t mean people driving in the other direction have seen you. Before you cross, make sure all vehicles (in all lanes!) have stopped.
If you bike
As a cyclist, always remember that you’re sharing the road with motorists. And remember that the rules of the road apply to you too.
1. Wear a helmet
In the event of a collision, a helmet is your best defence against head injuries and death. You may not like the look of a helmet, but you’ll be happy to have it on your head if you’re in a collision.
2. Know (and use!) hand signals
Drivers aren’t mind readers—they don’t know what you’re going to do next. Use hand signals to indicate when you’re turning, so drivers can leave you enough space to manoeuvre safely.
3. Make sure you can be seen at night
It can be hard for drivers to see cyclists at night. If you use your bike after dark, make sure you’re visible. Reflectors and a headlight are mandatory on your bike, and you may also want to install a small flashing light. Bonus tip: Wear light-coloured clothing with reflective strips.
If you take the bus
You’re just a passenger, so what role could you possibly have to play in road safety? Well, what you do on the bus and around the bus can have an impact on your own safety and the safety of others.
1. Choose a seat and stay there
When you move from seat to seat, it can distract the bus driver and obstruct their vision. And if there’s a collision or the driver slams on the brakes, you’re much more likely to be injured if you’re standing up.
2. Don’t leave your stuff in the aisle
Keep aisles clear at all times so that passengers can reach the exits quickly if there’s an emergency.
3. Don’t distract the driver
As a bus passenger, avoid raising your voice or doing anything else that might distract the driver’s attention from the road.
4. Use caution when walking near a bus
Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off. And don’t cross until the bus has left and the road is clear.
The last word
However you plan to get around, behaving safely when using the road network is the best way to prevent accidents and make sure you get to class in one piece!
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The information provided is meant to be illustrative only, and Desjardins Insurance assumes no liability with regards to how it is used. Use caution and consult an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.