Dark days: Danger at the crosswalks
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:38 PM
I almost had an accident on the way to work. An accident that could very well happen in the future, but can be prevented. I was driving down Whidbey Avenue between 6:30 and 6:45 in the morning, well before the sun starts coming up. I noticed a pedestrian standing on a sidewalk between a light and a crosswalk. He wasnt directly under the light and was wearing dark clothing. This made him difficult to see. Also, the light was not directly by the crosswalk, but some feet away providing little to no light directly on the left hand side of the crosswalk.
I slowed down to make sure he wasnt going to cross. When he stayed where he was, I came back up to speed. Then I noticed another pedestrian in the middle of the street. I had to slam on my breaks and swerve to avoid him. He was wearing all dark clothing, including a dark hat. There were no streetlights on my side (the right side) of the street to put light on the crosswalk and almost no light from the left side. Until he faced me and my lights hit his face, he was virtually impossible to see.
What would help this situation? If the city is going to create crosswalks for pedestrian use, for safety purposes they should make sure the crosswalks are well lit. It would also help if pedestrians wore some type of clothing, vest, or hat that is visible in low lighting, such as light colored cloth or reflective tape or to carry a flashlight.