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Walking defensively helps pedestrians avoid accidents

Michigan residents know walking is good for their health. Walking safely, however, is a must because accident injuries can quickly undo any health benefits. By taking precautions, pedestrians can help ensure their safety and avoid being hit by cars. It may also help them to know if they or any family members are more vulnerable to accidents because of their age or gender.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that males are more likely to be killed or injured than females, while pedestrians between the ages of 15 and 29 are more likely to be treated in emergency rooms for their injuries. One out of every five traffic fatalities involving children 14 or younger is a pedestrian death.

The CDC offers several tips to make walking safer for pedestrians. While walking on sidewalks is of course preferable, if none are available people should walk on the shoulder facing traffic. Pedestrians should cross at intersections or designated crosswalks. If they must walk at night, they should wear reflective clothing and use a flashlight. Pedestrians also shouldn't drink before they go out for a stroll. In 2013, 34 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Even if they observe these safety precautions, walkers can still be injured or killed after being hit by a car. Many pedestrian accidents happen because the driver of the vehicle is distracted by a cellphone, speeding or impaired. In such cases where the pedestrian had the right of way, an attorney can be of assistance in preparing and filing a lawsuit seeking appropriate compensation from the at-fault motorist.

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