Making Martha’s Vineyard Vacations Safe & Fun, Part II
The new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital opened last month, with the space to double it’s capacity. Some people speculate that this was necessary purely due to the transportation related accidents that grace the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s emergency room every season… please don’t be one of the statistics! Read on to be aware and safe, and if you missed our prior article on general vacation safety, please check it out.
Pedestrian Safety – Do you remember being taught to look both ways before crossing the street? I am fairly certain that it is a safety concept still being taught today, but it is not regularly practiced in the downtown areas of Martha’s Vineyard. I mention this not to embarrass anyone, because we can all be distracted… did you just hear that horn beep? WHAT is that man wearing?!… Oh, sorry, where was I? Oh yes, I was mentioning this so that if you happen to be driving on Martha’s Vineyard, you won’t ASSUME that the basic safety rules are being followed by the pedestrians. Please go extra slowly when driving through our towns, and don’t assume that everyone will wait for a crosswalk before walking in front of your car…
If you are a pedestrian, please follow these simple but important guidelines:
- Look both ways before crossing the streets and use cross walks whenever possible.
- Be aware of cars in downtown areas. Even though everyone else is walking down the middle of the street, it is probably not closed to traffic.
- Stay to the right on bicycle paths.
- Do not come from behind a car, and cross in front of it unless you know that the driver has seen you.
Bicycle Safety – Martha’s Vineyard has miles of lovely bike paths to explore, all over the island; but the roads are narrow, with sandy and narrow shoulders… and similar to elsewhere, many of the drivers are extremely impatient in the summer. Be careful! Remember these basic safety rules to ensure that your visit is accident free.
- Always use a bike path when one is available.
- When biking on the road, always ride with traffic.
- On the multi-use paths, stay to the right and announce yourself when passing on the left.
- Use caution when crossing in front of driveways or across roads – don’t assume that drivers see you, even if you have the right of way.
- Don’t forget to wear a helmet!
Mopeds – Every year there are several serious moped accidents on Martha’s Vineyard. Regardless of the moped driver’s skill level, there are many impatient “city drivers” on our roads in the summer. This doesn’t bode well for a slow moped on a 2 lane road, with a sandy and narrow shoulder. If you need a way to see the entire island, consider taking an island tour. It has the added benefit of a historical narrative being included, along with being able to see most of the island (minus the tour of the new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital accident room). We also have an excellent public transportation system if you would like to explore the island independently.
What’s your favorite mode of transportation when exploring the area? Do you have any examples of distracted visitors to share for our general safety awareness?