The cooler weather will be bringing out locals and snowbirds alike in Palm Springs and the surrounding desert area, meaning more people on the road and walkways. Although most traffic accidents involve vehicles, an increasing number occur with pedestrians. In fact, fatalities among foot traffic have risen 33 percent the last few years, reports the local news.
You can lower the odds that you will be a statistic by knowing common risk factors and how you can mitigate them.
Pedestrian hazards in Palm Springs
Watch out for these dangers as you walk to your destination:
- Speeding drivers: California is known for its higher speed limits and drivers who exceed them. Sometimes speed limit signs are not easy for drivers to see or are missing altogether.
- No sidewalks: Sidewalks are the ideal place for pedestrians to walk, but some areas lack them or have ones in poor condition. When there is no sidewalk, walk on the side that faces traffic.
- Darkness: Pedestrians are easy to miss noticing even without the cover of darkness. Avoid walking at night, but if you must, then use a flashlight and/or wear reflective clothing.
Furthermore, lack of enforcement harms pedestrians. Rules are only effective if police enforce them. Without consequences, drivers have no incentive to follow the law.
Ways to stay safe
While you cannot eliminate all risks, you can take further steps to increase your safety. First, always cross at intersections. Most pedestrian accidents occur outside of safe crossing zones.
Most important, put away distractions such as your phone so you can be aware of potential dangers. In fact, the California city of Montclair passed a law making it illegal for pedestrians to use their phones while crossing the street or they will have to pay a $100 fine, reveals NBC Palm Springs. Even just listening to music is not safe, because it blocks out warning sounds of danger.