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4 safety tips for all pedestrians

Whether you are outside training for your next marathon or simply walking your dog, safety should always be a priority.

While drivers have a responsibility to be safe and avoid accidents with other cars, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians, you also have to take a certain amount of responsibility for your own safety. You simply can't trust someone else to make the right decisions to keep you safe.

The next time you hit the pavement for a walk or a run, be sure to take proper safety precautions. Here are a few safe practices all pedestrians should know.

Stay visible

When out for a walk, especially at night or when the light is low, it is vital that you make yourself visible. This might mean wearing brightly colored clothing or even items with reflective material. Even in broad daylight, it helps to wear bright colors to draw the attention of drivers. Also, when you are crossing the street and there are vehicles, try to make eye contact with the drivers so that you are sure they have seen you.

Don't get distracted

Just like with driving, it is dangerous to walk or run while distracted. In other words, put down the cellphone and leave the earbuds at home. While you might prefer to work out to your favorite playlist, save it for the gym. When you are walking or running on the street or sidewalk, it is important to be able to see and hear what is going on around you.

Follow traffic rules

As a pedestrian, it is just as important that you know and follow traffic rules as it for motorists. This will help you anticipate what drivers are going to do. Furthermore, never assume that a driver is going to yield the right-of-way to you.

Avoid alcohol

Approximately half of pedestrian crashes involve alcohol. Of these, 34% occur because the pedestrian was under the influence. Alcohol slows down your reflexes and clouds your judgment, just like it does to people who drink and drive. Going for a nice long walk after a few drinks could be very dangerous.

While the above tips can help you stay safe the next time you go out for a run or take a walk through the neighborhood, you may not be able to avoid a pedestrian accident. If you have been hit by a car, you might be able to file a claim and get the compensation you deserve.

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