4 ways to sidestep becoming a traffic fatality

crosswalk Power walkers and casual strollers beware: Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. A report of preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association says “an estimated 5,997 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016, compared with 5,376 deaths in 2015 and 4,910 in 2014.”

Some states are safer than others. While five states (California, Florida, Georgia, New York and Texas) each had more than 100 pedestrian deaths, 10 others (Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont) and the District of Columbia each had fewer than 10 pedestrian deaths.

The organization gave several possible reasons for the surge, including Americans driving more because of reduced gas prices; more people walking, whether for health or as a method of transportation; and increased use of smartphones by pedestrians and drivers.

Use these tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while walking:

  • Cross at designated crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
  • Stay on a sidewalk or on the shoulder, facing traffic.
  • Keep your eyes on the road, not your device, while en route.
  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight at night.