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Walking home: 5 pedestrian safety tips for teens

As a young adult, there are many things that you need to know about being safe on or near the roads. Pedestrian safety is important and could save your life.

There are a number of tips that help you avoid a collision. Here are five to remember when you walk to a job, school or home.

1. Only cross at intersections or crosswalks

Unless there is no intersection or crosswalk available for a significant distance, you should always cross at intersections or crosswalks. Drivers expect to see individuals crossing there and prepare to stop. If there is no place to cross, make sure you cross where you can see for a distance in either direction and cross only when there is no traffic heading in your direction.

2. Use sidewalks

Sidewalks are there to keep you safe. Although it might be faster to cross an area through a parking lot or by crossing away from the sidewalk, putting yourself in danger is not worth the risk or time saved.

3. Be alert

Sometimes, drivers don't pay attention. The driver might be texting, eating, dealing with his or her children or distracted in other ways. Always look for traffic before crossing the street and try to make eye contact with drivers when you do decide to cross. That way, you know the driver sees you.

4. Enter and exit vehicles safely

If you are getting picked up or dropped off at home, work or school, make sure to get in or out of your vehicle on the side of the vehicle that is against the curb. This helps you avoid getting hit by drivers in the main traffic lanes who aren't expecting your door to open into the lane.

5. Look both ways when exiting a bus

Children getting off a bus often assume all traffic stops because the driver puts out the stop sign. Unfortunately, many drivers don't stop and continue to drive past the bus despite the danger to those wanting to cross. Always cross in front of the bus and look both ways before walking across the lane. Many drivers now allow children to exit on the curb side of the street, but if that is not possible, make sure to be aware of your surroundings.

Getting struck by a car can be devastating. The chances of coming away unharmed after a pedestrian accident are not good. Follow these tips to help you stay safe while you walk where you need to go.

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