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4 ways to be a safe pedestrian

As the saying goes, everyone is a pedestrian. Even if you do not regularly walk to work, school or the grocery store, you are a pedestrian when you walk through the parking lot, on the sidewalk at your office, near a shopping center or even down the street to get your mail. The streets can be dangerous places for pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a staggering 672 pedestrian fatalities in Texas in just one year. How can you keep yourself safe when you are walking near traffic? The following tips can help:

 

  • Face oncoming traffic when you walk, and stay on the sidewalk whenever possible. If you must walk on the shoulder, keep to the far side away from approaching vehicles.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors at night. Instead, wear light-colored clothing and carry a flashlight. Consider putting reflective tape on your jacket or wear a reflective vest.
  • Remove¬†distractions when you are walking. Rather than staring at text messages, put your phone in your pocket and keep an eye on surrounding traffic.
  • Cross the street at an intersection or marked crosswalk. The newer crossings that have flashing lights to alert drivers are ideal. In the absence of a crosswalk, watch for traffic, and only cross when you are sure it is safe. Do not assume traffic will stop for you when you have the green light - cross only after vehicles have come to a stop.

It is important that you teach these pedestrian safety tips to your children. Kids are known to act impulsively and may not consider common dangers when walking or playing near a road. You cannot always prevent every accident, but when you are vigilant, understand the dangers and follow safety rules, you may decrease your risks when you are on foot.

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