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How can you and other pedestrians stay safe on the road?

Whether you're exercising, walking to your job or just strolling along Kentucky streets, as a pedestrian, a car crashing into you is always a dangerous possibility. Unfortunately, a person has little to no chance next to a zooming vehicle.

Crossing the road is more dangerous than you may think - so it's important to practice safety tips when traveling by foot. 

Why are pedestrian accidents trending upwards?

According to CNBC, 2018 saw an estimated 6,227 pedestrian fatalities, the highest number since 1990. There are arguably many factors leading to an this incease in pedestrian deaths, including:

· Distracted driving

· Drunk driving

· Excessive speeding

· People driving larger cars

These just show a few of the many causes, and both pedestrians and motor vehicle operators have a shared responsibility to keep Kentucky roadways safe for everyone who uses them.

What are three pedestrian safety tips?

While you can't control the actions of others, you can ensure you're taking the necessary safety precautions yourself. Walking places you into a vulnerable and defensive position, but there are steps you can take to become less of a target. By doing the following, you could potentially minimize risks associated with being a pedestrian:

  1. Don't text and walk: Don't text and drive has been at the forefront of many state and national conversations. There are many efforts to eliminate distracted driving, but what about distracted walking? Using your cell phone while crossing the road keeps you otherwise preoccupied and reduces your awareness of your surroundings. To sum it up, the National Security Council advises, "Head Up, Phone Down."
  2. Walk on the sidewalk when possible: There might not always be a sidewalk near you, but when there is, make good use of it. If you must walk on the road, walk facing traffic.
  3. Make sure you're visible in the dark: Whether you're heading home after a night on the town, or you just simply enjoy walking or running in cooler weather, it's important drivers can see you. Use a flashlight or wear reflective or bright clothing.

Staying safe during foot travels requires mutual understanding and respect from both motor vehicle operators and pedestrians, but catastrophic pedestrian accidents still occur. When an accident does happen, determining who's at fault is one of the most important steps before moving forward.

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