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September 23, 2016

Pedestrians Beware, We Don’t Always See You!

Pedstrian_crossing-iStock_27378656-s-PinkBadgerThe fact that I love driving is a given, considering my automotive background. However, for five years I lived in downtown Toronto and was more often a pedestrian than a driver.

As many of you may know, driving in Toronto has its challenges and parking is expensive; also, driving can be a little overwhelming at times with so much going on around us. So I found it easier to either take public transit or walk to wherever I was going.

As a pedestrian I felt like everyone driving should be “seeing” me as I was crossing the road. What I came to realize is that many drivers don’t see pedestrians and that pedestrians shouldn’t be so sure of being “seen.”

As a driver, I’ve found that my attention is usually on the other vehicles on the road around me. There have been times that, just I was getting ready to make a right-hand turn, I looked to the left to make sure no vehicles were coming, and realized someone was walking in front of my car. (That raised my blood pressure just a bit!)

Distraced_driver_woman_lipstick-iStock_80412349-VoyagerixMany drivers are also distracted when they are driving. Although cell phones are supposed to be hands-free, even if someone is using their Bluetooth to talk, they are still distracted by their conversation. Or, how about someone putting on lipstick, or managing a hot cup of coffee, or reaching over the passenger seat of their vehicle to get something that may have fallen onto the floor? Driving requires a lot of attention and it isn’t just about the other cars on the road.

On top of this, lots of distracted pedestrians just assume that the cars on the road see them. We’ve all seen someone either texting, listening to music, or talking on their cell phone and walk off the curb only to realize that perhaps they weren’t clear to cross or that there was a vehicle going by.

Just as a driver should never rush an intersection when the light turns green in case some fellow driver had decided to “blow” the red light, a pedestrian should never rush a crossing either, for the exact same reason. Jaywalking is something we’ve all done and that can have dire consequences as well. How many drivers do you know who’ve taken any type of driver training but still manage to not see such problems on the road as you?


Kelly_Williams_with_tireRace car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website

#KellyWilliams #AskPatty #Canada


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