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Planning a night out? Talk about safety as a pedestrian

As a pedestrian and someone who is just planning on having a fun night out, you need to know how to safely get from point A to point B. You do plan on walking to each of your destinations, because you and your friends will be drinking.

Since you know that you may be impaired later on in the night, it's a good time to review how you're going to get to each place safely and how you're going to avoid making mistakes that result in a pedestrian crash.

What should you do to avoid a pedestrian collision?

To start with, it's a good idea to talk to your group about safety. One of the best things you can do, and one thing that will help you stand out to drivers, is stick together. Large groups are much harder to miss than a single pedestrian, so drivers should be able to see you more easily.

Another thing to talk about is taking shortcuts. Yes, you may be able to cross and get to the restaurant faster by crossing further away from the intersection, but this simply isn't as safe. When you walk out into traffic and aren't in an intersection, drivers may not be expecting to see you there. They are also likely to be moving more quickly, so any crash would be more serious. Though it takes longer, cross at the crosswalk and use the "WALK" signal to know when it's safe.

Finally, talk to your group about horseplay. You all may be having a good time laughing and joking, but if someone is accidentally pushed or falls into the street, there could be a serious collision. Be sure that everyone who is with you stays sober enough to make decent decisions while around fast-moving vehicles, so you can prevent accidents.

Drivers need to be safe as well. While pedestrians do need to make sure they're following the rules of the road, drivers can also help by making sure they slow down in areas where pedestrians are present. Drivers need to stop before entering the crosswalk and should wait for pedestrians to be out of the crosswalk before proceeding. They should also be watching for pedestrians everywhere on the roads, not just at crosswalks.

It's up to everyone to keep pedestrians safe on the roads. Make a plan for your night out, so you can all get home safely.

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