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How possible is it to cross the street safely?


Like most kids, you probably grew up making jokes about why the chicken crossed the road. As your parents held your hand, you learned about the importance of looking both ways, and how you're supposed to cross the street at crosswalks.

But regardless of age, most people don't think about any possible safety considerations. And no matter how old you are, while interacting with traffic, there may be any variety of dangerous situations you should avoid.

What the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's statistics suggest

Learning how, why and where the most significant number of pedestrian fatalities occur can increase your awareness. As a result, you could potentially save your life.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Most pedestrian fatalities (75%) take place after dark
  • In 2016, 84 Washington state pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents
  • The majority of pedestrian fatalities (76%) occur in urban areas
  • Pedestrians were legally drunk in 27% of pedestrian fatalities in 2016

Although Seattle has the lowest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation, you should remain aware of crosswalk laws throughout Washington state.

There are laws about how to cross the road

Crosswalks are the designated safe crossing areas for foot traffic and bicyclists. You shouldn't cross a roadway diagonally unless a traffic-control device permits it. If crossing without a crosswalk, you must yield to motor vehicles. And if you are in an area where there are two adjacent intersections with traffic signals, you may not cross except for in a crosswalk.

Regardless of where you're crossing, before stepping out onto the road, you should think about the safety rules you learned when you were young. Though you might not have liked how they slowed you down as a child, they could save your life as an adult.

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