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Pedestrians, drivers should be aware of each other to stay safe

When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, more than 80 percent of the time the pedestrian is killed or seriously injured. In Michigan, more than 100 pedestrians die each year, according to the Michigan State Police.

Most of these deaths occur between 6 p.m. and midnight, with many fatalities happening when pedestrians cross the roadway somewhere other than at an intersection or when a driver fails to yield.

Pedestrians should:

— Use sidewalks whenever available.

— Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.

— Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.

— If you must walk along the roadway, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.

— Always stop at the edge of a parked car, curb, or vehicle before walking out into traffic.

— Look left-right-left before crossing a street and continue looking while crossing.

— Make eye contact with drivers before crossing roadways.

— Be visible: wear reflective clothing and lights at night and wear bright colors during the day.

— Never allow children under age 10 to cross the streets alone. Young children do not have the skills to accurately judge traffic risks.

Drivers should:

— Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.

— Yield to pedestrians.

— Stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop, too.

— Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.

— Avoid distractions.

— Obey the posted speed limit.

— Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.

— Make eye contact with pedestrians waiting to cross roadways.

— Be extra cautious when backing up — pedestrians can move into your path.

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