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Walk, But Stay Safe: Tips for Pedestrians

Use crosswalks, beware at intersections, carry flashlights at night, CDC advises.

Walk, But Stay Safe: Tips for Pedestrians

SUNDAY, Jan. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Walking is a great way to get exercise, but it's important to follow certain safety rules to protect yourself from cars and other hazards, experts say.

On average, more than 460 pedestrians are treated in U.S. emergency departments every 24 hours for traffic-related injuries, and one pedestrian dies every two hours, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, more than 4,200 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes and another 70,000 were injured.

Some pedestrians are at higher risk for injury or death from traffic crashes. Male pedestrians are more likely than females to be injured or die in a traffic crash, according to a CDC news release. Pedestrians aged 15 to 29 are more likely than those in any other age group to be treated in emergency departments for crash-related injuries.

In 2010, one-third of U.S. pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were legally drunk, the CDC said.

Child pedestrians are at increased risk of injury or death from traffic crashes due to their smaller size, inability to judge vehicle distances and speeds, and their lack of experience with traffic rules, the CDC notes. Pedestrian deaths account for nearly one-quarter of traffic deaths among children 14 and younger.

The CDC offered the following safety tips for pedestrians:

  • Cross streets at designated crosswalks. Be careful at intersections where drivers might fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning.
  • If you walk at night, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing.
  • A sidewalk is the safest place to walk. If you have to walk on the road, walk facing traffic.

More information

The American College of Emergency Physicians has more about pedestrian safety.  

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Dec. 27, 2013

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