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Top tips for staying safe as a New Jersey pedestrian

The warm summer months are a perfect time to get a little exercise and save money by walking to where you want to be. Most medical professionals agree that walking can be very good for your health. Unfortunately, there are also risks that come with traveling on foot. New Jersey pedestrians, in particular, are at high risk.

There are risks with any sort of transportation. Those who ride in cars or on bikes can also wind up hurt. However, pedestrians are uniquely vulnerable, as they do not have the protection of any kind of vehicle in the event of a collision. Knowing that risk for injury may be higher is a good reason to do your best to reduce your potential for an accident on any given outing.

Always follow the rules of the road

If there is a sidewalk, you should use the sidewalk. The same is true for walking trails or paths. If you must walk in the street, be sure to comply with New Jersey road laws and face toward oncoming traffic. Also, always cross at designated crosswalks when possible.

Don't walk while distracted

You probably realize that it is dangerous to text and drive. It is also dangerous to text and walk on public streets. Doing so increases your risk of a crash, as you may not notice a car barreling down toward you. Although the vehicle may still be at fault, wouldn't you rather avoid those injuries in the first place?

Dress appropriately for the time of day

If you know you're going to be walking on city streets during the dawn, dusk or night hours, you need to take proactive steps to keep yourself safe. Consider using some kind of headlamp, carrying a flashlight or wearing bright and reflective clothing. If you wear dark colors and don't carry a light, drivers may not see you until their headlights cross your path. At that point, it may be too late for them to safely stop their vehicle.

Checking both ways isn't just for kids

A lot of adults are prone to step right out into traffic with confidence. While confidence is a good look on anyone, it can be very dangerous in traffic. You should never assume that a driver notices you. Just because you have the right-of-way doesn't mean that oncoming traffic can't potentially strike you and cause a devastating injury. Always take the few seconds required to look both ways and check for traffic before you start off into the street.

Even if you are proactive about safety, you could still wind up hurt in a traffic collision. In that scenario, you should consider talking with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help you hold a driver responsible for the financial impacts caused by a crash.

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