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Pedestrian risks and safety tips

As spring returns to the Pacific Northwest, many people in Washington State are eager to spend more time outside. This can often translate into more people enjoying the chance to walk places instead of driving or taking a bus, for example. While walking can be a great form of exercise and is an environmentally friendly form of transportation, it does come with its own unique set of risks. Sharing the road with cars, trucks and other vehicles puts people on foot in vulnerable positions a great percentage of the time.

As reported by, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents across the United States in 2017 alone. That is a startling number and should reaffirm the need for pedestrians to be vigilant about their safety and protecting themselves.

AAA Exchange recommends that people take precautions to ensure they are visible at all times, including during daylight hours. This may take the form of wearing brightly colored clothing or even some reflective gear over their clothing. When possible, walking on a sidewalk is the optimal choice but there may be times when there is no sidewalk present. In these situations, it is best to walk against the flow of traffic so the pedestrian can better see oncoming vehicles.

It is also important to keep in mind that anyone can be a pedestrian at different points. One example of this when a person goes to the grocery store and must walk through a parking lot from their car to the store or from the store back to their car.

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