You rely on your company to provide a safe environment while you are on the job. However, your company relies on you to act safely when you are traveling to and from work.
No matter how you travel, every one is vulnerable to the possibility of an accident. However, of all the means of travel, walking probably provides the most risk. That’s because pedestrians are vulnerable to every form of moving vehicle. The American College of Emergency Physicians reports that 68,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2004. On average, a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in the United States. That’s why it is imperative that if you walk to work, you follow the American College of Emergency Physicians’ recommendations for pedestrian safety:
- Use sidewalks.
- Know and obey safety rules (e.g., if a “don’t walk” signal starts blinking when you’re halfway across an intersection, continue walking).
- Cross only at intersections and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again for traffic before stepping off the curb.
- Be sure you are seen by oncoming traffic.
Of course, pedestrians aren’t the only travelers who are vulnerable when commuting to work. Drivers also face a number of risks because they travel during rush hours when traffic is at its peak. In fact, InjuryBoard.com says that your commute home from work could actually be the most dangerous time to drive. The site goes on to note that although 12:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings are considered the two most deadly times to drive during the week, the deadliest time period overall is actually from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. More drivers are on the road in the afternoons, and these drivers are generally tired from working, distracted by the problems that occurred during the day, and in a hurry to pick up their children or get them to an activity or event.
Even though afternoons pose a greater safety threat, all rush hour driving makes it necessary for you to practice extreme caution:
- Leave early enough to get to work on time without having to speed.
- Travel at a speed that is suited to the road conditions.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Yield the right-of-way at intersections.
- Don’t swerve from lane to lane.
- Signal before you make a turn.
- Stay in the right lane while driving so that cars can pass you on the left where you can see them.
Keep these tips in mind so that you can arrive at and return home from work safely, every day.