"See and be seen" is a piece of advice making its way around the state, as residents prepare for the annual time change this Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 a.m. That's when we set our clocks back one hour, and it means the morning commute will bring darkness to us one hour earlier. Pedestrians will want to wear bright or reflective clothing and drivers will want to be extra alert. One person lost his life this year in a pedestrian accident in downtown Astoria, and there has been a great deal of discussion about how to address the many near-misses that happen on a regular basis.
So far this year, 47 pedestrians have been killed in Oregon in motor vehicle traffic crashes – that's the total pedestrian fatalities for 2011, and there are two months remaining in the year. Many factors contribute to these fatal incidents, including distractions, alcohol use and disregarding rules of the road – on the part of both drivers and pedestrians. That's why it's important that both take responsibility for being safe. ODOT's Transportation Safety Division offers these reminders about driver and pedestrian safety:
Pedestrians enhance visibility when wearing dark clothes, such as bright or reflective clothing or shoes; drivers can't avoid what they can't see.
Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing the street.Watch out for motorists' blind spots.When possible, cross with others; there truly is safety in numbers – drivers are more likely to see a group of people than individuals.Remain alert! Don't assume that cars are going to stop. Make eye contact with motorists before crossing paths.Use crosswalks and walk on sidewalks whenever possible.Look left, right and left again before crossing. Watch for turning cars.