More on the Topics of Pedestrian Safety and Driving While Intoxicated
We have written before about pedestrian safety, nighttime safety, teenage/young adult drivers, and drinking and driving. We ran across this article from dailypilot.com, which sadly, appears to be a “quadruple whammy”:
1. A 22 year old driver (male)
2. who appeared to be drinking and driving
3. hit a 15 year old girl pedestrian
4. at around 1:30 a.m.
First things first
Parents, PLEASE know where your teenagers are. This victim may have had a perfectly good reason to be out at 1:30 am, (the article doesn’t say if she was alone or not) but we can’t think of too many scenarios where it’s a good idea for a 15 year old girl to be out that time of night.
The 22 year old driver, Ryota Takamatsu, hit the young victim with his car at the intersection of Fairview and Baker in Costa Mesa. Takamatsu was headed southbound on Fairview and the victim was headed westbound on Baker. Witnesses say she was crossing against a red light.
Pedestrians always have the right of way – but no pedestrian should ever assume that a car can see them or is prepared to stop for them. Pedestrians must ALWAYS take very special care to ensure their safety. Remember: cars are much larger and much stronger than you.
Here are some ways pedestrians can take responsibility for their own safety:
- Only cross at designated crosswalks
- If walking at night, stay in lighted areas and/or wear light colored, reflective clothing
- If possible, do not travel alone, especially at night. You are safer and more visible with more people
- Do not wear headphones – make sure you can hear if a car approaches quickly or blows its horn
- Do not have distractions such as texting or talking on the phone – be aware of your surroundings
- Wait until cars have stopped at the crosswalk before crossing
- Make eye contact with drivers before you cross
Drinking and Driving
Takamatsu was arrested for felony DUI and felony hit-and-run. He is 22 years old, which sadly places him in the category of the nation’s worst drivers.
Teenagers and young adults are by far the most dangerous demographic behind the wheel. At Safety 1st, we work tirelessly to reverse these statistics, but teenagers and young adults have to also do their part to make better choices and take responsibility for their actions.
This may sound ridiculously obvious, but if everyone in America lived by this rule of thumb, we would be a lot safer:
If you have been drinking, smoking marijuana, or taking any drugs, do not drive.
There are so many alternatives available to you: Taxi cabs, Über cars, Drunk Rescue, designated drivers (friends or family members), staying put until you sober up, etc. All it takes is a little thought and preparation on your part. Chances are you know when it’s a possibility that you will be drinking, so while you are sober, figure out what you are going to do and tell someone else so they can hold you to it.
If you frequently drink alone or to excess, you may have an addiction. Please get help before it is too late. Check out www.aa.org for more information.