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How can you prevent pedestrian crashes?

With the summer just around the corner and schools about to let out for the year, there's no better time to talk to your children about the risks of being on or around the roads. The summer months bring about heavy tourism and increase traffic significantly. This poses a threat to anyone who is walking or riding a bike around the state.

The good news is that anyone can take steps to prevent a pedestrian crash. Here are three tips that can help your kids stay out of harm's way.

1. Get ready before you head out

When you're going to walk to the park, a friend's house or other location, you need to plan ahead. Wear brightly colored clothing, plan the safest route and bring lights or reflectors with you if you'll be out at night, at dawn or at dusk.

2. Walk defensively

You must walk in a defensive manner. Be alert and focused; never rely on stop lights or crosswalk signals to tell the whole truth of your surroundings. Always look both ways and be prepared to quickly get across the street. You may technically have 15 seconds or longer based on a signal, but it's in your best interests to move as fast as you can to avoid getting hit by drivers who aren't paying attention.

3. Learn the rules of the road

Finally, make sure your kids know the rules of the road, when vehicles can turn, how to cross at an intersection and how to walk against traffic if there are no sidewalks.

Teaching your kids to be safe while walking could help save lives. Be cautious and remember to stay alert.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Prevent Pedestrian Crashes," accessed May 11, 2018

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