SPD stresses safety tips for pedestrians, drivers as sun sets earlier

SPOKANE, Wash. — A teen is now recovering from serious injuries after being hit by a car in Northwest Spokane. Police say several children were crossing Northwest Boulevard near Grace Avenue when the teenager was hit by a driver Monday night.

Officers say they were told by some witnesses that the teen suddenly went into the street. SPD says it didn’t seem like the driver was impaired at the time.

RELATED: Child hit by car on Northwest and Grace

The 13-year-old is expected to recover.

As it starts to get darker out earlier, drivers and pedestrians are reminded to be extra careful on the road.

According to public health experts, more deadly crashes involving pedestrians happen after the time changes. Daylight Savings ends on November 6.

“You’ve got the sun in your eyes as you’re headed to work, make sure that you’re taking that extra peek before making any movement. For pedestrians it’s that time of year when we need to start upping our light colored and reflective clothing,” said Sergeant Teresa Fuller with the SPD’s traffic unit.

Traffic safety experts stress to parents the importance of wearing a helmet for any wheeled sport, such as skateboarding and bicycling.

“I talk to kids all the time about how our phones have all these cool colors to keep them protected and that’s the same thing a helmet does for your brain and it’s the only thing we can’t fix right now besides your spinal cord so it’s imperative that they wear the helmet,” Fuller said.

Other safety tips include, wearing light colors and using situational awareness. Fuller also recommends parents use school backpacks with reflective strips for their children so that they can easily be seen by drivers.

“If they’re walking around they need to have that situational awareness so if you’re listening to music or whatever, take one ear bud out or earphone, that way you can hear what’s going on around you and know whether you need to move quickly or not,” Fuller added.

It’s dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers to be buried in their phones.

Fuller says a new report from the traffic committee shows distracted driving is up three-percent this year.

As winter approaches, you want to take the extra measures to make it home safe.

Washington laws say a driver has to yield to the right of way of pedestrians in a crosswalk.

However, it can be complex sometimes because crosswalks can be marked or unmarked.

The other side of the rule is that pedestrians can’t just abruptly enter into the street. This creates a safety issue for both drivers and pedestrians.