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Pedestrians: Why should you always walk against traffic?

You should never walk on the side of any roadway as a pedestrian -- if possible. The sidewalk or a walking trail is the best option in all situations. Nevertheless, if you're traveling by foot, you won't always have a safely-segregated footpath available to you. When forced to walk on the side of the road in these situations, you should always walk on the left side of the road -- against oncoming traffic -- no matter what.

Wy should you walk on the left side of the road?

In 2015, 129,000 pedestrians required emergency room care after being struck by a car and 5,376 of these people lost their lives as a result of their catastrophic injuries. Many of these collisions could have been avoided if the pedestrian had walked on the left side of the road. According to recent Finnish study that looked at pedestrian versus vehicle accidents from 2006 to 2010, walking against traffic rather than with it reduced the chances of a pedestrian collision by 77 percent.

What's the rationale behind these figures?

Part of the reason why there's a huge safety difference between walking against traffic as opposed to walking with traffic is because, when you can see an approaching car, you'll have a chance to jump out of the way if it's heading toward you. When cars are approaching from behind, all the responsibility is left to the vehicle driver to avoid hitting a pedestrian, and vehicle drivers are often distracted by smartphones, other vehicles and other distractions.

Next time you decide to get to your destination on foot, be sure to use your eyes and wits and always walk facing traffic. It could save your life, and it could prevent the need to pursue a personal injury claim to recoup damages after a catastrophic injury that -- although it wasn't your fault -- could have been avoided.

Source: Reader's Digest, "This Is Why You Should Never Walk on the Right Side of the Street," Marissa LaLiberte, accessed March 01, 2018

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