Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but at one time or another everyone is a pedestrian. While pedestrian fatalities remain high, there was a 1.7-percent decrease in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2017, totaling 5,977 deaths. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) raises awareness of the dangers to pedestrians by providing safety tips, educational material and other resources. Find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones when walking:
Here are some useful tips to follow:
• Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
• If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
• Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
• Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
• If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
• Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
• Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
• Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
• Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
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