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Three safe walking habits to help you prevent being hit by a car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 6,000 pedestrians killed by cars in 2016. A majority of those crashes happened when it was dark outside, as opposed to other times of day. A majority of crashes also occurred at areas other than intersections.

Drivers should be looking for pedestrians all the time, should be prepared to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and should display extra caution when backing up. However, drivers do not always do these things. Sometimes this failure is caused by conditions that make it challenging to see pedestrians. Other times drivers may be driving too fast to stop in time or they may be distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Although drivers should be taking actions to avoid hitting pedestrians, people who are walking should also adopt safe habits to prevent being hit by a car. In general, this includes being predictable, being alert and being visible to drivers.

Be predictable

When you walk, you should make sure your actions are predicable to drivers, so they have time to react accordingly. This means that you should follow signs and traffic signals, walk on the sidewalk when one is available and cross the street at crosswalks and intersections when possible. Never dart out into the road or cross without looking for traffic in all directions.

Be alert

When walking, try to be alert to the traffic around you. Keep your eyes and ears on the road. Watch for cars that may be turning into a crosswalk or backing out of a driveway or parking lot. If a crosswalk is not available, walk facing traffic, so you can better see and hear the vehicles around you.

Be visible

Never assume a driver can see you. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road to verify that they see you. You may also consider wearing bright or reflective clothing to make yourself more visible as you walk. At night, consider walking with a flashlight.

When you walk in the community, practice safe walking habits that can help prevent you being hit by a car. However, sometimes crashes happen anyway. If you are hit by a car while you are walking, you could suffer severe injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. If you have received injuries because of the negligent actions of a motorist, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses.

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