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There are many common causes of pedestrian accidents

As a pedestrian, you know how important it is to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

In California, a growing number of people have come to realize that it's much easier to walk from one destination to the next -- not to mention the health-boosting effects of such a biped lifestyle. While there are many benefits of doing so, it also increases the likelihood of being part of a pedestrian-vehicle accident.

It's important to become familiar with the top causes of pedestrian accidents, as this can help you avoid trouble. Some of these include:

  • Distracted driving, which can include everything from texting to eating to applying makeup
  • Speeding or other forms of reckless driving, such as running a traffic signal
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Failing to signal before making a turn
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions (such as heavy rain)

You may assume that drivers are always paying attention and following the rules of the road, but this isn't always the case. It only takes one mistake by one driver to cause a serious pedestrian accident.

There are also things you can personally do to enhance your safety:

  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing if walking at night
  • Cross the street at designated crosswalks
  • Never ignore the "do not walk" signal at an intersection
  • Don't quickly enter traffic, no matter how much of a hurry you are in

Again, doing these things doesn't guarantee your safety, but it can help.

If you are part of a pedestrian-vehicle accident, stay where you are until help arrives. An ambulance can transport you to a local hospital for immediate treatment.

Once you know your injuries and the best treatment strategy, you can then learn more about the cause of the accident. If the driver was responsible, there are steps you can take to obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages. You have legal rights and you shouldn't hesitate to protect them.

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