Kolawole Ajayi: Safety Tips for Road Users During the Festive Season
Road use, either as a driver or a pedestrian, during festive periods, is known to be quite tedious because of these factors: increase in traffic congestion, increase in road users, exhibition of erratic behaviours and drivers’ aggressiveness. So, in order to minimize stress, avert tragedies and crashes during this season, here are a few tips for drivers and pedestrians.
Cross the road properly
The best you can do as a pedestrian trying to cross a highway is to use the pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian crossing – where availably. Apply the golden rule of crossing, which is to look left, right and left before crossing.
You are also advised to cross where there are intersections, Zebra crossings, traffic officers, marked areas, traffic lights, well lit areas; also cross when you are sure the driver is concentrating.
In congested traffic, never cross alone. Don’t cross in front of parked vehicles, cross when you must have made eye contacts with the driver. And if you are with children, carry the infant/toddler, instead of holding or dragging them, while crossing.
Use the sidewalks
There is always an increase in traffic during festive periods, so for your safety, please walk on sidewalks and road shoulders. And in places where these don’t exist, walk facing the traffic. Don’t compete on the roads with motorists; never assume they see you.
So many road users feel non-usage of phones is an instruction for only drivers. So, to have safe walks during festive periods, you are advised to reduce phone use make less calls and stop browsing while walking by the road side. You are to also avoid/minimize the usage of earphones, as you can’t afford to have shared concentration – because of high vehicular flow during festive period.
Wear reflective clothing
Festive periods like Christmas come with harmattan, dews and cloudy skies, so if you find yourself walking at night during this period, it is only proper to have at least a reflective material on. This could be in form of wearing a brightly coloured cloth or having a reflective tape by your wrist, as this will aid drivers to easily see you.
This is to enable you move and manoeuvre easily in traffic, especially while crossing. Fit clothing can be useful in case you are to run in order to avoid a crash.
Stay alert and don’t walk alone
Since increase in crime rate is associated with festive periods, you are advised to be alert as to avoid pickpockets and thieves. And if you aren’t sure of your safety wherever you are going, kindly go with a person and please walk by the sidewalks.
For Drivers (including Tricyclists & Motorcyclists)
Fix/Service your vehicle
It would take more time to move a broken down vehicle off road, and also to get your mechanics to where a broken down vehicle is. This is as a result of increase in road users during festive period. So to avoid this experience, service your vehicle, fix wipers, e.t.c.
The best way to avoid the temptation of speeding above the speed limit associated with the road you are driving on, is to leave earlier for the trip. This simply aids full concentration while driving, and in turn provides ample time for safe reaction in case of crash.
Obey all traffic rules/signs and safety officers. And desist from driving against traffic.
Fix your lights
Festive periods come with a lot of lightings and flashy bulbs all around especially on roads and streets, and these can actually affect the proper functioning of vehicles’ lights if not in good shape. So, in order to guide against this, you are to fix bad lights on your vehicle.
It is a known fact that there is always an increase in numbers of road users during festive periods. So, you are to be careful and watchful, because some would be overly drunk. Scan roads ahead properly and avoid overtaking a vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians.
Don’t drink and drive
It is forbidden to drink and drive. For your safety and that of other road users, avoid drinking if you will drive. And if you must drink, go home by taxi.
As a result of increase in traffic during festive periods, less space is available to avoid crash. And to avert crash and any other mishaps, you are to avoid distractions like; use of phone, checking out of pedestrians, billboards and adverts.
If you are the type of driver that on an average day cares less about other road users, in the spirit of celebrations, you are kindly implored to be accommodating and yield to pedestrians.
Safety should be every road user’s watchword throughout festive periods and beyond, so you are to leave no stone unturned in regards to this. As a driver, please drive when it is safe for you and other road users. Pedestrians are strongly warned against boarding vehicles at unofficial terminals and parks.
Photo Credit: Syda Productions | Dreamstime