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If, like many Seattle residents, you are an avid walker or jogger, your busy schedule may cause you to be out and about after dark.

Naturally, you are vulnerable to a vehicle-pedestrian collision. Wearing reflective gear and lights will make you more visible to cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles.

Making it easier for others to see you

Many garments for walkers and joggers include shoes, vests and jackets designed with reflective details. You can even design your own by applying strips of reflective tape to your clothing. Any time you are out after dark, you should also wear bright, neon colors and a white shirt.

Using lights

Wearing a headlamp is a great way to help drivers and bicyclists see you after dark. Choose a headlamp that is adjustable and not too heavy. It should have enough of a beam to illuminate the street or sidewalk in front of you. Some also feature a rear blinker. If a headlamp is not your style, use your creative powers to light yourself up at night. Make a necklace of small Christmas lights, or repurpose those blinking lights used for bicycles or dog collars. You will draw the attention of drivers—which is exactly what you want—and in the process, you may give fellow pedestrians some ideas for their own after-dark safety.

Protecting your rights

Do what you can to make yourself more visible after dark, but remember that vehicles are not the only threat to your safety. Roadway defects or poorly marked crosswalks could also bring danger. If you should suffer an injury, do not hesitate to explore your legal options. Liability could rest with a governmental body or highway engineering firm or with a negligent motorist. Keep in mind that under Washington law, a driver does not have to break the law to be liable for an action resulting in injuries. Your legal team will protect your rights to financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost income and more.