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Don't become a statistic. Follow these pedestrian safety tips

Walking is great aerobic exercise that can get or keep you fit, but it also can pose hazards when you walk on or near roadways.

An average of 430 people are treated each day in emergency rooms across the nation for injuries they receive in vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Approximately every 120 minutes, a pedestrian dies from injuries suffered in a collision with a motor vehicle.

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 735 pedestrians died in traffic accidents, and over 156,000 more sought emergency room treatment for nonfatal injuries.

Those pedestrians most likely to get treated at the ER for collision-related injuries are males between the ages of 15 and 29, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control found. Death rates rise with the age of pedestrians, and in a single year, 34 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities were individuals with blood alcohol levels of at least .08, which means they were considered legally too drunk to operate a motor vehicle in all 50 states.

Kids are at even higher risk of getting hurt or killed in pedestrian-traffic crashes because of their small stature, inexperience abiding by traffic rules and their inability to correctly judge vehicle speeds and distances. Of all traffic deaths involving kids under 15 years old, 20 percent are pedestrian fatalities.

Decrease your chances of becoming a statistic with the following safety tips:

-- Use crosswalks and intersections to cross the street.

-- Don't use electronic devices while walking.

-- Wear clothing that is reflective from behind when walking after dark.

-- Carry a flashlight to signal your presence to distracted motorists.

-- Always walk on sidewalks when possible.

-- If there are no sidewalks, use the road shoulder to walk and face the traffic.

If you are injured in a car-pedestrian accident, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your damages and injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety," accessed Sep. 30, 2016

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