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Watch for walkers, runners when driving around this Spring

Now that the days are longer and the sun is shining again, places like Thread, downtown LaGrange and sidewalks are seeing more foot traffic.

We encourage all our readers to be aware of pedestrians while they are driving.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation, 76 percent of fatalities in crashes are caused by unsafe driving behaviors. Sixteen percent of those fatalities were pedestrians.

We know as summer approaches our schedules get busier and our phones start dinging every few moments. Put down the phone and just drive.

Distracted driving is a primary factor in many fatalities.

Drivers should be aware that runners or walkers are advised to move against the flow of traffic if on the road to ensure that they can see oncoming dangers, but not all runners follow this advice.

Drivers should take particular care to follow the posted speed limit when sharing the road with those walking, running or on their bikes. Be particularly careful when glare from sunlight is a hazard or in areas of our community where shrubs and trees can block your visibility.

We also encourage pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and traffic. Next time on your walk or run, if you are listening to music, make sure it’s not too loud so you can hear a car horn or other vehicles on the roadway. Make sure to always obey all traffic control devices and signals. When crossing an intersection, proceed with caution. In best practice, we encourage you to always stop and look for approaching traffic before entering the intersection. 

GDOT says that 33 percent of fatalities are attributed to motorists not yielding to pedestrians. We also encourage walkers and runners to utilize the safe spaces we have in our community to get some exercise.

For instance,  The Thread is a great place to get off the roadway and to get some running or walking in without having to constantly worry about vehicles passing by.

We are excited to see the community getting outside and utilizing our parks and walking areas but encourage everyone to be safe and aware.