We have seen an recent increase in “pedestrian struck” calls to 911 over the last week. There have been at least four incidents in the town of Henrietta alone where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.
Thankfully, each of the patients were not seriously injured. Nonetheless, we’d like to get the word out regarding some safety tips for both pedestrians and drivers in the area.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Nothing is arguably more dangerous than crossing the street at a busy intersection. Our response district covers numerous major intersections, particularly along the Jefferson Road, East Henrietta, West Henrietta and Chili Avenue corridors. Pedestrians should take great caution when attempting to cross the street at intersections.
With the holiday season upon us, store/plaza parking lots are much busier. We’ve also seen an uptick in accidents and pedestrians being hit in parking lots as well.
Always use a crosswalk as well as traffic control devices (walk/don’t walk signage). Never jaywalk, or attempt to quickly run across a street outside of a designated crosswalk.
Triple-check vehicles in both directions to be sure it’s safe to cross. Watch for turning vehicles, particularly over your shoulder/behind you. Wear bright reflective clothing.
Use extreme caution in poor weather — rain and snow. Always look up/forward. Don’t look down at your smartphone.
Avoid listening to music or other things that would distract your ability to hear oncoming traffic. Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.
Safety tips for drivers
Slow down! Stop and/or yield as appropriate, particularly in busy shopping areas.
Keep an eye out for pedestrians at all times. This is extra important when making a turn or pulling out of a driveway or entrance (e.g. leaving a store parking lot).
Use your headlights at all times. In rain and snow, take extreme caution and use reduced speed. Always yield the way of pedestrians, walking or biking.
When driving in reverse, look both ways as well as utilizing any backup camera your vehicle may have. Don’t use your smartphone while driving.
Chris Murtaugh is captain of CHS Healthcare, which provides emergency medical services to Henrietta, Chili, Scottsville/Wheatland and Caledonia.