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How to safely cross the street

As a pedestrian, there are often times when you need to make your way from one side of the street to the next. While this sounds easy enough, once you're ready to make your move you'll realize that danger is lurking.

Even though no two instances of crossing the street are ever the same, there are steps you can take every time to enhance your safety:

  • Plan your move: For example, if you're thinking about crossing the street before reaching a crosswalk, take a step back so you can realize just how dangerous it is. By planning ahead, you're more likely to prevent a mistake that could result in an accident.
  • Always use a crosswalk: When available, you should always use a crosswalk to cross the street. Here's why: The law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Of course, this doesn't mean you should streak into moving traffic and expect everyone to stop.
  • Follow the "walk" and "don't walk" signal: If there's a traffic signal telling you when to walk and when to stay put on the sidewalk, let it guide you. Even if traffic appears clear, don't make your move until the signal changes.
  • Look both ways: You've been hearing this since you were young, and it still holds true as an adult. Looking both ways before you cross allows you to pinpoint any potential dangers, such as a vehicle that is speeding toward the intersection.
  • Avoid distractions: For instance, if you're listening to music while crossing the street, you may not hear a driver beeping as they approach you. It's best to avoid all distractions as a pedestrian, just as you would if you were operating a motor vehicle.

When you follow these steps, you'll feel more confident in your ability to remain safe when crossing the street.

Should you be struck by a motor vehicle, you should expect serious injuries as a result of the impact. Administer first aid and call 911 to ensure that you receive immediate medical treatment.

As you recover, you'll want to review the police report as it will give you a better understanding of the cause of the accident, such as if the driver was intoxicated or distracted. With that information, you can determine if you're in position to make a personal injury claim.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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Cary, NC 27511

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