Drivers urged to look out for pedestrians during evening commutes

Press Staff Writer

       Ohioans gained an extra hour of sleep this weekend thanks to the time change. It also means it is getting darker even earlier, reducing visibility and making it more important than ever for motorists to watch out for pedestrians during evening commutes, especially in residential areas and near schools.
        From 2009-2018, 1,134 pedestrians were killed on Ohio roadways, with over 70% of those deaths happening at dawn, dusk or after dark. October, November and December are the deadliest months for people walking in the Buckeye State and account for 34% of annual pedestrian deaths since 2009.
        “With the time-change impacting visibility for all road users, we are asking drivers to slow down and pay extra attention for people walking and biking,” said Cait Harley, ODOT’s Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Manager.
        Your Move Ohio, offers these time-change safety tips.
        For motorists
        • Slow down: During the early morning and evening hours, more time is needed to see pedestrians. Increase the recommended safe distances. The more space, the more time there is to react. Slow down during rain and fog too.
        • Always stop for pedestrians crossing the street. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
        • Be extra cautious: Decreased visibility calls for more vigilant driving. Watch for bicyclists and pedestrians in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections and when backing out of driveways.
        • Be seen: Turn on headlights to be more visible during early morning and evening hours.
        • Eliminate distractions: Put away the phone and change the time on vehicle clocks before starting to drive.
        • Beware of glare: Clean windshields inside and out. Dirty windshields can magnify glare. Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
        For pedestrians
        • See and been seen: Reflective clothing and lights can increase visibility. Use bike lights outside of daylight hours and in the rain.
        • Cross consciously: Cross at intersections or in marked crosswalks.
        • Walk left: Walk in the opposite direction of traffic.
        • Ride right: Ride in the direction of traffic. Follow traffic signs and lights.
        • Be aware: Avoid distractions and make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
About Your Move Ohio
        ODOT created Your Move Ohio ( in response to a multi-year surge in fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes and epidemic levels of chronic diseases – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – in the state. Its main goals are to encourage more Ohioans to choose active transportation and improve safety for everyone on Ohio’s roadways.
        Details and free downloadable resources are available at and on Share your active transportation story with the hashtag: #YourMoveOhio.


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