Whenever you are not in your vehicle, you are a pedestrian! Pedestrian safety in Trophy Club is essential to preventing injuries and fatalities, especially with the constant traffic and active resident lifestyle in town. Many children walk to school or a friend’s house and crosswalks are sometimes busy with traffic coming and going. Drivers must coexist with cyclists, walkers, runners and anyone enjoying the outdoors to ensure that Trophy Club roadways remain safe and incident free.
Trophy Club is a popular riding destination for cyclists and both drivers and cyclists should remain aware of their environment and surroundings. Cyclists must abide by the same laws as drivers; however, without the protective outer shell of a vehicle, cyclists have a greater risk for injury in the event of an accident.
To avoid a collision, cyclists should follow safety guidelines and adhere to proper rules of the road:
- Wear a helmet - It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
- Cycle on the right side of the road with traffic - Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
- Make eye contact with drivers - Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
- Wear reflective clothing and use lights – Wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
- Avoid cycling by yourself - Cycle in groups when possible, to increase visibility for motorists.
Rules of the Road for Cyclists
Obeying the rules of the road will reduce the possibility of a collision with a motor vehicle:
- Obey traffic signals - Failing to adhere to traffic signals is one of the main causes of bicycle accidents. Bicyclists need to ride in the middle of the lane and only cross through intersections when the light is green.
- Use hand signals - Proper hand signals by riders reduce the possibility of an accident with a motor vehicle. Hand signals effectively allow drivers and riders to acknowledge each other on roadways.
- Ride defensively - It is important that riders maintain constant focus of their surroundings while on roadways to best anticipate possible threats.
- Ride on right side of road - Many riders are told to ride on the left side of the road, which is incorrect. Bicyclist need to ride on the right side closest to the curb so that drivers are not caught off guard.
- Pass on the left - Bicyclists should remember to pass other bicyclists on the left and not around blind corners. Passing on the right can lead to a collision with another bicyclist.
Proper Bike Signals
Using proper signals to communicate with automobiles is an important component of bicycle safety.
How to properly use hand signals:
- Left Turn - hold out left arm parallel with the horizon
- Right Turn - hold out left arm with a 90 degree right angle UP at the elbow
- Alternate Right Turn - hold out right arm parallel with the horizon
- Stop - hold out left arm with a 90 degree right angle DOWN at the elbow
Walker & Runner Safety
Walkers and runners are common throughout Trophy Club and should take precautions to better protect themselves while enjoying the outdoors:
- Wear reflective clothing and use lights – Wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve visibility to motorists. Get in the habit of wearing white or bright-colored clothes. Carry a flashlight is possible.
- Limit your distractions - Do not run outdoors with an MP3 player. Cutting off your sense of hearing means you can't hear oncoming cars, cyclists yelling to move, unleashed dogs, or any other potential threat.
- Don't make assumptions about drivers - Don't assume that drivers can see you or that they'll yield to you because you have the right of way. Make eye contact with drivers at street crossings before you cross.
- Walk on a sidewalk - Use a sidewalk if one is available, if there is no sidewalk, then walk facing traffic.
- Cross the street at a designated crosswalk - Jaywalking is an unsafe practice that puts pedestrians in danger because they often are crossing at areas where automobiles are not accustomed to looking for pedestrians. Please try to cross at designated crosswalks.
- Walk with leashed animals - Unleashed animals can endanger walkers and motorists by running into roadways with automobiles. Walkers should remember to obey leash laws and only walk with animals that are properly leashed.
What to do if there is no crosswalk:
- Look both ways for automobiles before crossing - Pedestrians have the right of way at marked and unmarked crosswalks. Always verify that no cars are coming or that approaching vehicle(s) acknowledge your presence before crossing the street.
Pedestrian Safety Resources
- Bike Sense www.bikesense.bc.ca/ch4.htm
- Traffic Safety Center http://safetrec.berkeley.edu/newsletter/winter2006-07/crosswalkwhatyouknow.html
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) www.nhtsa.gov/Pedestrians
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/features/pedestriansafety/
- Safe Kids Worldwide www.safekids.org