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Safety tips to help pedestrians and drivers share the road

Seattle roads are not just for cars; walkers use them too. To keep everyone safe, both drivers and walkers should use the following safety tips. When drivers and pedestrians don't, the risk of a pedestrian accident escalates, and with it, the risk of serious, even fatal, consequences increases.

For pedestrians, rule one is to be visible. If a car cannot see the walker, they cannot avoid the walker. The rule becomes especially important from dusk through dawn. During this period, wear light-colored and, preferably, reflective clothing. Reflective clothing becomes especially important at night. In addition to wearing highly visible clothes, walkers will also want to stay in well-lit areas - especially when crossing a street.

In addition to staying visible, walkers need to avoid distractions. Not paying attention is easy to do, but it can also put a walker in harm's way. To minimize distractions, walkers need to keep their eyes on the road, not their smartphones. Headphones can also be a problem since they block noises that could have warned of danger.

Like walkers, drivers also need to pay attention. That means not only watching out for other cars but also for walkers too. Drivers also need to match their speed to the road conditions. If visibility is low, whether from rain or night, drivers need to slow down.

And drivers need to take extra care around crosswalks. For example, cars must yield to walkers in a crosswalk. They should also slow down when approaching crosswalks and avoid passing other cars stopped at a crosswalk.

But no matter how careful pedestrians and drivers are, pedestrian accidents will continue to happen. Washingtonians involved in one of these accidents may benefit from speaking with an attorney experienced auto-pedestrian accident. This could help determine the cause and liability is such a catastrophic accident, helping victim recover compensation owed to them.

Source: AAA, "Tips for Pedestrian Safety," Accessed Oct. 25, 2016

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