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Using precautions as a pedestrian

California residents are probably familiar with the dangers to pedestrians by motor vehicles. Whether walking to another location, riding in a wheelchair, walking for exercise or pushing a stroller, the vulnerability of these individuals contributes to injuries caused by negligent drivers.

According to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic accidents caused the deaths of 4,735 pedestrians in 2013 and injured over 156,000 who required emergency room treatment in that year. The average shows a pedestrian death caused by a traffic accident every two hours, while an average of 430 individuals will seek emergency room treatment due to a traffic-related injury during each 24-hour period.

The CDC offers suggestions on how to remain safe while walking. This includes being vigilant and not using electronic devices because they can be distracting, and the agency recommends crossing streets at designated locations. In addition, the CDC suggests carrying a flashlight when walking after dark and wearing clothing that is reflective to appear more visible to motorists. When sidewalks are not available, people should walk along the shoulder but face the traffic when doing so.

In illustrating the dangers to pedestrians with regard to accidents, some face a higher risk. Children face more risk due to size, unfamiliarity with traffic laws and inability to tell how fast or far away a vehicle might be. People between 15 and 29 are most likely to require emergency room treatment. Alcohol is a contributing factor with 34 percent of pedestrians killed in 2013 having a BAC level of 0.08 or higher.

A pedestrian who is knocked down by a driver may face extensive medical care and lost time from work. If the pedestrian had the right of way, a personal injury attorney could be of assistance in preparing and filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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