WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — More people are injured or killed as the weather gets colder, according to Street Smart, a program that promotes safety and education across the D.C. metro area in order to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths.
According to the program, 139 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the D.C. metro area in 2022.
“We want everyone in our community to be able to enjoy walking, running, biking or driving this fall, but that’s only possible if we all watch out for each other on the road,” said Jeffrey C. McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman and COG Board Member.
“As a community, we’ve lost too many friends and family to crashes that could’ve been prevented. We can stop these crashes from shattering more lives by following traffic laws, driving the speed limit, and learning some simple Street Smart tips,” McKay added.
Here are some of the tips recommended by experts:
If you’re driving…
- Make sure to slow down and follow the speed limit.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Be careful when passing buses or stopped cars.
- When turning, allow people walking and biking to pass.
- Look around for possible cyclists before opening your car door.
- Allow at least 3 feet when passing cyclists.
- Don’t talk on the phone or text while driving.
- Be extra careful if you drive an SUV or pickup truck.
If you’re walking…
- Always cross the street at the corner and use marked crosswalks.
- Use the push buttons and wait until you can cross the road.
- Watch for cars turning a corner.
- Look to all sides before crossing the road.
- Avoid using your phone while crossing the street.
If you’re biking…
- Make sure to follow the signs and signals.
- Never bike against traffic.
- Ride at least 3 feet from parked cars.
- Use hand signals to tell drivers what you intend to do.
- Wear a helmet.
- Use lights at night and when there is poor visibility.
- Use bike lanes.