There are currently 263.6 million registered vehicles in the U.S. alone. As this number continually increases, how do we ensure that pedestrians remain safe? If you work for a company that uses pickup rentals, an accident could cost you the ability to drive and, more importantly, your job.
When you compare the size and speed of a half-ton pickup to a walking individual, it is easy to see who is going to lose in this situation. Drivers have a responsibility, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of others.
In 2016, a report released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association said that fatalities increased 11 percent last year, reaching nearly 6,000 deaths. This percentage increase is the largest increase in a single year ever, and the total number is the highest in over two decades. What is causing this increase? Vehicles are getting safer, but the number is growing instead of declining.
The biggest reason for the recent increase is the number of distracted people, both those behind the wheel and those on foot. It is becoming easier to stay distracted as we move from place to place. Pedestrians wear headphones, stare at their electronic devices and become oblivious to vehicles. There has never been a song so moving or a text so perfectly composed that is worth your life or the life of a pedestrian.
On occasion, the pedestrian steps out into the street and the driver is unable to brake fast enough. As automated detection software improves, this number will hopefully go down. As drivers, we can’t afford to count on software to save lives. We need to be more attentive. Here are a few tips that would help us all be safer on the roads.
Pedestrians have the right of way, according to law. If you are approaching a crosswalk, be aware of your surroundings. Is there someone on the side of the road waiting to cross? Is there someone already in the intersection? If to either of these questions you answer yes, then immediately slow down. Even if they aren’t in the crosswalk yet, you still must stop for them.
Driving rental trucks from site to site can be boring. It is easy to allow ourselves to drive on autopilot. As a driver, there is a responsibility to remain vigilant and on the lookout for pedestrians at all times. Don’t allow changing a song, sending a text or talking on the phone to be the reason someone’s life was ended.
Make sure you always obey the posted speed. This is especially true in pedestrian-heavy areas. Don’t give your company bad PR by causing an accident in your half ton pickup. In residential areas, be constantly scanning for children. Be aware of any school zones you are passing through and be ready to stop quickly.
These are a few ways that you can ensure the safety of those around you as you use Flex Fleet Rental trucks. Let’s all commit to making pedestrian fatalities outdated.