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Can you protect yourself from an accident as a pedestrian?

Living here in Tampa, you know how congested the traffic can be. Walking around your neighborhood, downtown or in any other area presents certain risks. Even when you have the right-of-way, it doesn’t guarantee your safety.

Of course, some intersections are more dangerous than others are, but even when you believe you are relatively safe, the unexpected could occur. You could take certain measures to ensure your safety.

Tips for staying safe while walking

In 2017, approximately 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic accidents, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Being proactive may save your life. The following tips may help:

  • Remain extra vigilant in areas where you don’t have access to sidewalks, in parking lots and high-traffic areas, along with areas with blind intersections.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers as their vehicles approach you, since this means they see you.
  • Be sure to avoid distractions. Cell phones and other electronic devices distract pedestrians just as much as they do drivers.
  • Even if you have the “green light” to cross at an intersection, keep your eye out for drivers who may not see you.
  • Don’t wear headphones while you walk, since you may not hear other vehicles.
  • If you have an obstructed view, try crossing somewhere else where you can see.
  • Don’t count on a vehicle to stop for you.
  • Look both ways and then left one more time before crossing.
  • Only use crosswalks.
  • Wear reflective or bright clothing, especially at night.

Regardless of the reason why you walk, your safety needs to come first. You may escape injury by implementing the above tips.

If your efforts to remain safe fail

Even if you do everything right, a vehicle may still strike you. Rarely will a pedestrian come out on top when facing down a vehicle. Your vulnerability means that your injuries may be severe. You could end up spending a significant amount of time recovering.

During that time, you will probably incur a substantial amount of medical expenses, even with insurance. More than likely, you will have to miss work as well. You may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries through the filing of a personal injury claim.