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Crashes affect pedestrians every day: Here are the facts

Pedestrians are some of the people most at risk in an accident. Pedestrians don't have protective helmets, the body of a car, or other protective elements to keep them safe when they're struck. Even a light bump from a vehicle can lead to bruising, broken bones, head trauma and other issues.

The people most at risk of being in a pedestrian accident may surprise you. It's not older teens or younger adults; instead it's the elderly and children who are likely to be injured. Pedestrians over the age of 65 made up around 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths that took place in 2012. Children also were involved in these accidents often; in 2012, over one in five children who were pedestrians were involved in traffic crashes.

To prevent crashes involving pedestrians, pedestrians need to make themselves seen. It's important to wear bright colors at night, to carry a light and to be visible in any way you can. It's safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one isn't present, walk against traffic, so drivers can see you in their headlights. Make sure to stay on the shoulder at all times.

Even doing your best to avoid being hit won't prevent every accident. If a drunk, drowsy, or distracted driver hits you, it's important to speak up and make a claim. You'll have a limited amount of time to do so, and making a claim is one of the few ways you can seek compensation for your injuries and the time you've missed from work. Your attorney can help you decide how best to approach a claim while you recover.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed Nov. 25, 2015

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