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How to prevent a pedestrian accident: Knowledge is power

As a pedestrian, you always need to think about your safety. This is particularly true when you're walking, jogging or biking in close proximity to motor vehicles (such as in New York City).

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to remain safe. Here are some of the things you can personally do to prevent a pedestrian accident:

  • Cross the road at designated crosswalks
  • Don't enter the road until the "walk" symbol tells you it's okay to do so
  • Never dart into traffic
  • Make eye contact with drivers, such as those waiting at a red light as you're crossing
  • Don't fall prey to distractions, such as listening to your favorite tunes or texting

Along with these things, you should become familiar with the most common causes of pedestrian accidents:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsy driving, which is common among truck drivers
  • Distracted driving, with texting and other forms of cellphone use the most common
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road, such as yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Neglecting to consider weather and traffic conditions

As a pedestrian, you have full control over the things you do. For example, you can pay attention to what's happening around you and only cross the road when you're comfortable doing so.

Conversely, you don't have any control over drivers. Even though you're watching what's happening around you, it doesn't guarantee your safety. For example, people could be texting as they approach an intersection. If they don't see you crossing the street, a serious accident could occur in an instant.

If any type of motor vehicle strikes you, stay where you are and make sure someone calls 911 as quickly as possible. Immediate medical treatment is an absolute must, as this is essential to your long-term health and well-being.

Once you receive treatment, you can turn your attention to the cause of the accident. You could come to find that the driver was responsible. In this case, you should then learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

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