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Tips to help teens avoid pedestrian accidents

Like most accidents, pedestrian accidents are preventable and safety tactics can be used by both drivers and pedestrians to get the numbers down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put out a number of tips specifically aimed at helping teens and preteens.

-- Wear clothing that is bright and highly visible. Do this both during the day and during the night.

-- At night, wear lights or clothing with reflectors on it. This can be very helpful for runners.

-- Plan a safe route in advance. Pick a route that is efficient and direct, and try to avoid the biggest roads when you can.

-- Understand the rules of the road. For example, always walk on the left-hand side if there aren't sidewalks. If there are sidewalks, be sure to use them rather than walking in the street.

-- Do not jaywalk. Use crosswalks and pay attention to the signals. Even if the road looks clear of traffic, wait to get the signal to cross before you go into the road.

-- Avoid distractions. Don't listen to headphones while you walk, don't text people on your phone and don't make calls.

-- Know what traffic is likely to do and watch out for drivers who don't see you. If you're going by a driveway or a parking lot, for example, be alert for cars entering or exiting.

-- Act defensively, even when you have the right of way. Watch for drivers who may make mistakes. Give them extra space, especially when conditions are bad.

If you are still injured in an accident, you may have a right to compensation in New Jersey.

Source: NHTSA, "Tips for Preteens & Teens: Prevent Pedestrian Crashes," accessed Dec. 10, 2015

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