SDOT reminds locals to drive safely during darker months

Fall has well and truly arrived in the northwest bringing rainy weather and shorter days. According to SDOT statistics, more collisions occur during the darker and wetter months of the year.

Many city departments are actively working to raise safety awareness and improve safety on our streets through Vision Zero, the citywide plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

“With Halloween and the Daylight Savings coming up, we want to remind people driving, biking, and walking to use extra caution out on the roadways,” says SDOT Director Scott Kubly.

SDOT has put together the following list of important safety tips for everyone as they travel the streets of Seattle this fall and winter:

  • Focus on the Road

Distracted driving incidents have more than tripled since 2011. People driving need to pay attention and put the phone away when they get in the car. That call or text can wait.

  • Make Smart Choices

Taking personal responsibility on our streets means not driving impaired—which remains the single biggest contributing factor to fatalities. If you’ve had too much to drink, park it, cab it, take transit or use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft.

  • Slow Down

The laws of physics tell us that higher speeds result in more crashes, injuries, and deaths: When a person who is walking is hit by a car traveling 40 miles per hour, that person has a 10 percent chance of survival. Those are not good odds.

The good news is that, if we slow traffic down a little, something remarkable happens: When a person who is walking is hit by a car travelling 20 miles per hour, the survival rate jumps to 90 percent.

  • See and Be Seen

People driving need to pay extra attention. People walking and biking need to make sure they are visible. The best way to do this is to wear reflectors or bright colored clothing. If you’re riding a bike, use lights and reflective stickers. And remember, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked.

“Please be aware of each other as you’re getting around and travel safely,” says Kubly.

Find out more information on Vision Zero online.

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