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How to walk safely in urban areas

Some people live in urban areas, while others only visit for work, entertainment, shopping and dining among other activities. It doesn't matter why you spend time in a busy city but walking around is obviously unavoidable.

Walking is a great way to experience an area while getting some exercise that will keep you happy and healthy.

The problem with this is that walking is not always as safe as it appears. Since you are doing so in close proximity to motor vehicles, there are a few key steps you must take in order to maintain your safety as a pedestrian:

  • Choose the safest route. This is something you need to think about in advance.
  • Walk on a sidewalk at all times. If this is not possible, you should think about taking a different route. Walking on the street increases the chance of an accident.
  • Cross the street only at crosswalks. Although this may take you out of your way, it's something you should always do. If you don't use a crosswalk, a driver may not expect to see you on the road, thus leading to a collision.
  • Remain alert. It's easy to become distracted when walking. From listening to music to texting with friends, there may come a point when you take your eyes off your surroundings. Keep cellphone use to a minimum when walking.
  • Pay attention to traffic signals. If a signal tells you to stay put at a crosswalk, make sure you do so. Also, check both ways before you begin to cross, as you never know if a driver will ignore a red light.
  • Wear bright clothes and carry a light at night. Anything you can do to help others see you is something you should consider.

Even when you take all of these steps, there is still a chance that you could be struck by a motor vehicle. If this happens, you need to remain where you are and call for help immediately, even if you think you are not badly injured. Witnesses and passersby will, hopefully, come to your assistance until an ambulance and police arrive.

Once you begin to recover, you can learn more about the accident and the steps you can take to hold the responsible party accountable. If you have medical expenses or have lost wages due to your injuries, compensation may be available.

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