With less daylight and often unfavorable weather in late fall and winter, it is a good time for Seattleites to think about roadway safety. As even one fatality is one too many, here are a few reminders to ensure everyone travels safely this time of year.
- Check headlights and taillights before leaving home.
- Turn on headlights as soon as daylight fades, or better yet, use headlights on cloudy days as well as at night.
- Slow down when it is dark or when weather conditions are poor due to less visibility.
- Watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists who may be in or entering the roadway in front of you.
- Avoid distractions while driving, such as using a cell phone or texting.
- Wear light colored outer clothing, preferably with reflective strips.
- Stay alert—don’t assume drivers can see you. Establish eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Don’t text or use your mobile phone while walking and don’t wear headphones.
- Stay on sidewalks when they are available; if there are no sidewalks, walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Cross the street only at intersections or at marked crosswalks located mid-block.
- Wear light colored outer clothing, preferably with reflective strips, and a helmet.
- At night, dusk or dawn, use a bright, white light on the front of your bike and a red reflector on the back. A red light in addition to the reflector is also allowed.
- When in the roadway, follow the same traffic laws as are required for motor vehicles. (It is also legal to ride on the sidewalk.)
- Drive in a predictable manner, avoiding sudden turns or lane changes.
- Make sure oncoming drivers see you before crossing a street, especially cars that are turning or where there is no traffic signal.
It is well worth the time it takes to be properly equipped. Please travel in a safe manner during this season and remind your loved ones to do the same.