World Car-Free Day

by Courtney Conley
Landscape

Each September, people around the world pledge to go car-free for a day. World Car-Free Day shows our communities the benefits of alternative modes of travel, such as public transportation, bicycling, and walking, or even working from home for the day. Going car-free for a day helps reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. The more people who participate in World Car-Free Day, the more we can reduce our carbon footprint. Here are three things to keep in mind if you’re going car-free for the day.

1. Bicyclists must follow traffic laws.

Bicycling is a great and green way to get places quickly. Even though you’re on a bicycle, you still need to follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. Make sure you’re riding on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic, not against it. Ride in a straight line as much as possible. Remember, on a bicycle it takes longer to get through an intersection than you’re probably used to, so prepare to stop for yellow lights.

Check your bike to make sure it’s ready to ride. Are your tires in good condition with the right amount of air pressure? Do your brakes work? Are your seat and handlebars adjusted properly? If you have quick release levers, are they tightened? Does your bike have reflectors? Does your helmet fit properly?

Learn how to use proper hand signals. Take a look at the illustration below for an idea of how to use hand signals as a bicyclist.

Hand Signals

2. Pedestrians should take care to interact with motorists safely.

Pedestrians

Even if you’re going car-free for the day, many people will not be, for various reasons. As a pedestrian, it’s your job to know how to safely interact with motorists when you’re on foot. Here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Obey all traffic signals unless a pedestrian control signal directs you otherwise.
  • Only cross the street at an intersection or marked pedestrian crosswalk. It’s dangerous to cross in the middle of the block. Avoiding walking on the street, and use sidewalks whenever possible. If you are in an area without sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Step off the pavement when you hear and see a car approaching.
  • For your safety, try to wear white or light-colored clothing, or carry a light or reflector when you walk at night. It’s hard for drivers to see pedestrians in dark clothing when it’s dark outside.
  • You should never suddenly walk or run into the street in the path of a vehicle. Sudden actions may not leave the driver enough time to respond and avoid you.
  • If you’re wearing headphones or earbuds, make sure you can still hear your surroundings.

3. Follow community COVID-19 guidelines.

During a pandemic, travel is a bit more complicated than we’re used to. If you’re out in your community on Car-Free Day, make sure you take all the recommended precautions and follow the guidelines your community has put in place for everyone’s protection. Check the CDC’s website for more information about how to stay safe outside of your home.

Do your part for the environment, and pledge to go car-free for a day! If you enjoy learning about traffic safety topics, you would love our courses! We offer convenient online courses for traffic school, defensive driving, auto insurance discounts, driver education, and mature driver improvement. Visit our website to see which courses we offer in your area!

Each September, people around the world pledge to go car-free for a day. World Car-Free Day shows our communities the benefits of alternative modes of travel, such as public transportation, bicycling, and walking, or even working from home for the day. Going car-free for a day helps reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. The more people who participate in World Car-Free Day, the more we can reduce our carbon footprint. Here are three things to keep in mind if you’re going car-free for the day.

Categories: Driving Safety, Trip Planning