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Pedestrian safety: 3 things you need to know

Walking to work or school should not be dangerous, but in this day and age it can sometimes be hazardous to be a pedestrian. In June, a Dallas man was hit twice while walking along the side of the Dallas North Tollway. The circumstances surrounding the accident are not fully known, however — only one of the two drivers who hit him stopped to render aid.

What can you do to help protect yourself while walking, biking or jogging? Let's take a look at three things you can do to help protect yourself — and your children — while walking near traffic.

1. Wear the proper clothing

One way to reduce your chances of being in a pedestrian accident is to wear the appropriate-colored clothing. If you are out after dark, it is imperative you wear something bright and reflective so cars can see you from a greater distance. In 2018, the NHTSA published a report detailing how 2016 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1990. The report details how age, time of day and intoxication factored into the almost 6,000 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles. 

2. Only cross the street at pedestrian-friendly intersections

There is a reason police officers can ticket you for jaywalking: It is extremely dangerous. Crossing at marked intersections or those with traffic control devices such as traffic lights and stop signs greatly decreases your chances of being struck by a vehicle. Even so, be sure to be aware of oncoming and cross traffic, as well as drivers who may not be paying attention.

3. Always pay attention

Distracted driving is a problem nationwide, but so is distracted walking. Whether you are responding to a text message, taking a selfie by a scenic point of your jog or listening to music using headphones, distractions may spell out tragedy. Reduce the distractions when you're driving and walking to minimize the chances of an accident.

Being active and enjoying a walk or jog should not result in injury or death by motor vehicle. Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians. Maintaining visibility, crossing the street where safe and always being aware of your surroundings are just three ways you can make yourself stand out to drivers even more.

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