The summer months bring warm weather, with more and more pedestrians and runners outside, sharing the roadsides and crossing intersections. With school children going back to class in the coming weeks, even more pedestrians will be out throughout Hudson and Western Wisconsin.

While nationally the number of pedestrian deaths is down slightly from 2016 according to the National Highway Safety Administration, still nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 when hit by cars.

So, what can drivers do to make sure they don’t end up hitting a pedestrian during this time of year?

Here are 7 tips to follow to ensure everyone, those walking or driving, stays safe on the road this fall:

  1. Stay alert and on the lookout for any pedestrians, especially in school crossing area crosswalks and in intersections near school zones.
  2. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well before the crosswalk area to give pedestrians space to safely cross.
  3. Don’t pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. You may hit a pedestrian you don’t see, who is crossing in front of that vehicle.
  4. Never pass a stopped bus or a bus that has its stop arm out. Children will be getting off and crossing the street, and it’s always safer to just wait for them.
  5. Watch your speed. Make sure you obey school zone speed limits and follow the speed limit through residential areas or in areas where pedestrians are more likely to be walking.
  6. Don’t drive drunk. Being intoxicated reduces your reaction time, making you more likely to hit a pedestrian when you are driving.
  7. Eliminate distractions. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, distracted driving is the cause of 1 in 5 auto accidents. So, don’t text while driving and use a hands-free mobile communication or navigation method. Also, avoid eating, putting on makeup or grooming while driving.

It’s always best to keep your eyes on the road–especially in areas where more children will be out. With school coming back in session, kids will be getting off and on buses in neighborhoods, crossing in school zones, or walking or riding bikes to school. If you watch out for them, you’ll help ensure they arrive to school safely.