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Always Use the Crosswalk

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If there is one available, make sure that you cross at a marked crosswalk or intersection. Lots of accidents happen because pedestrians cross the street in areas where drivers are not expecting to see them. If you’re at an intersection without a crosswalk, the commonwealth of Virginia requires you to cross by the most direct route and to exercise reasonable care for your own safety.

Make Yourself Visible

Visibility is a huge factor that can either cause or deter an accident. Don’t walk across a poorly lit road at night in dark clothing. You’re just putting yourself at a much greater risk of being involved in an accident than if you were wearing reflective, light-colored items. Other ways you can make yourself more visible to drivers is to carry a flashlight with you if you’re travelling at night and try to make eye contact with drivers so you can be sure they see you. If you have small children with you, make sure they are visible as well and that they hold your hand while crossing the street. Childrenshould not be allowed to cross the street by themselves.

Look Both Ways

This almost goes without saying and is perhaps the most obvious way to avoid being hit by a car. Not only should you look left and right before crossing the road, but you should double check and look both ways once more as you step from the curb. You can alert drivers that your intention is to cross the road, by waiting at the edge of the curb and look alert. If you’re gazing around aimlessly, drivers will assume you’re not yet ready to cross the street.

Avoid Distractions

If you’re crossing at a busy intersection, it’s a good idea to get off your phone or take out the earphones so that all of your senses are alert to possible oncoming traffic. This way, even if you forget to look both ways, you’ll be able to hear the cars coming.

Obey the Walk/Don’t Walk Sign

Not only should you only cross in marked crosswalks and intersections, but you should wait for the proper traffic signals before crossing. If you cross against a red “do-not-walk” sign and are hit by a car in the process, you will be held accountable in the eyes of the law. This is especially true in a state like Virginia, where the laws require you to be completely faultless in order to recover for personal injuries in an auto accident.


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