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Staying safe as a pedestrian in the autumn and winter

With the autumn and winter holidays coming up quickly, there's no better time to start reviewing pedestrian safety tips with your family. If you're hit by a car, you have the option of pursuing legal action, but it's better to avoid these incidents if possible. Here are a few of the best ways to keep yourself and loved ones safe.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Remember that just because you have the right of way doesn't mean a driver is going to stop. Follow all traffic rules; don't walk out into a crosswalk without looking both ways. Make eye contact with drivers when possible to make sure they see you.

Don't Walk Distracted

While it's safer to talk and walk than it is to drive and use a phone or interact with passengers, distractions can still lead to accidents. Don't wear headphones, since these can block out important warning sounds, like horns or yelling. Don't look down at a smartphone; remember to look ahead and stay alert.

Don't Drink and Walk

While you're legally allowed to walk home when intoxicated (within reason), it's a fact that around half of all pedestrian casualties involve alcohol consumption. When you're not completely alert and have impaired senses, you don't always make the best decisions. Remember to stay sober if you're going anywhere near busy traffic.

Drivers Can Help, Too

Drivers can help keep you safe by being alert and looking out for pedestrians at all times. They should always be following the posted speed limits and slow down on residential streets or areas where children may be present. This is particularly important as Halloween approaches, which could result in dozens or even hundreds of children on or near the roads.

Drivers should always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and reduce their speeds as they approach. With these safety tips, both pedestrians and drivers can work together to keep safe this year.

Source: AAA, "Tips for Pedestrian Safety," accessed Sep. 21, 2016

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