It’s winter. It gets dark early. Did you know that almost a third of all pedestrian fatalities occur within just three hours, between 3 and 6 pm?
In BC each year vehicles strike 2,700 pedestrians. Of those, 61 are fatally injured. These are sobering statistics and not to be taken lightly by those of us with balance issues.
Visibility is a key factor in pedestrian collisions. Contrary to popular belief, wearing white at night won’t save you. Not convinced? Take a look at No White at Night (YouTube) to see how white clothing is hardly better than black for pedestrian visibility.
Reflectivity considerably improves your chances of being seen. Clothing and accessories with reflective strips increase visibility by gathering and returning light to headlights. Most cycling stores, for example, stock reflective snap bands – these are easy to add to jacket cuffs or trouser legs.
And don't forget to use a reflective coat on your dog or an LED collar. There are also flashing lights you can clip on their coat or hang on their collar. Carry a flashlight if you are walking in poorly-lit areas or over rough ground. Do not use a retractable leash at night; you need full control over your pup in the dark. A cyclist, a darting cat or another dog can appear out of nowhere.
Visibility increases the likelihood of a pedestrian being seen, but nothing will compensate for awareness and caution. Remember to:
- Always make eye contact with drivers – don’t assume they see you.
- Remove your headphones and never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersection or while crossing a street.
- Be extra cautious at intersections.