Slow your sled for peds during the holiday season

Did you know that the most common cause of collisions in Center City Seattle during the holiday season is motorists failing to yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk? As part of the Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign, SDOT tracks data between the periods of November 20 and January 15. Data shows that 46 percent of all car and pedestrian collisions are caused by motorists turning on to streets with pedestrians crossing during the pedestrian signal phase. This means almost half of the collisions could be easily avoided if drivers and pedestrians take it slow and look out for each other. The people we pass in our travels are our friends, our neighbors, our family and our co-workers. Let’s give them the gift of safety this season.

Naughty! Car blocking crosswalk.

Here are a few tips for driving safely

  • Plan ahead and don’t drive if you plan to drink
  • Travel the speed limit. Faster  speeds can lead to more serious injuries if you’re involved in a crash
  • Focus on the road – you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if texting while driving
  • Don’t block the box
  • Stop for pedestrians – it’s the law in Washington State
  • Always look for pedestrians and cyclists when attempting a turn
  • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk—assume they are stopped for a pedestrian

 Tips for walking safely

  • Use the sidewalk and adjust your walking to conditions

    Nice! Car stays out of the crosswalk allowing pedestrians to cross safely.

  • Wear bright clothing at night so you can be more easily seen
  • Use marked crosswalks whenever possible
  • At signals, start crossing the street only when you have the “walk” signal
  • Watch for traffic even in a marked crosswalk with the “walk” signal – make sure approaching drivers see you
  • Don’t be a distracted walker—turn off headphones and pay attention when crossing the street

 Throughout the holidays, the city of Seattle asks you to drive with care and walk aware. Whether driving, walking, or biking, take it slow and watch out for others.  Keep in mind that people of all ages and abilities are pedestrians. Together, we can all make this a safe holiday season.

The campaign is being run in conjunction with the new City of Seattle Road Safety campaign, Be Super Safe, which launched last summer and is an ongoing effort to reach zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.