While any type of accident involving motor vehicles can be devastating, it can be especially catastrophic when a pedestrian gets hit. If you live in Coachella Valley, you should know that this area sees significantly more pedestrian deaths than the national average. Seniors 65 years old or older are especially at risk.

While you cannot control the actions of drivers, you can take some preventative measures to stay safe and reduce the chances of getting hit by a car. Here are some top pedestrian safety tips to follow.

Pay attention to walkways

Always use the sidewalk. In areas where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic. Use crosswalks whenever possible, and keep a safe distance away from the road when standing on street corners, especially if any buses or commercial trucks are making wide right turns. Watch out for walk signals when applicable. If you must walk across a street when there are no crosswalks available, be sure to look both ways and cross carefully.

Increase your visibility

Drivers need to see you. Try to wear bright-colored clothes and reflective materials. Carry a flashlight or use the light on your smartphone whenever you walk at night. Stay clear of parked cars before crossing the street so motorists are able to see you.

Stay alert

Resist distractions while driving. Do not talk on the phone, text or listen to music with headphones. Any type of distraction can leave you unprepared and unaware of vehicles around you. Always walk defensively.

Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries. By following these tips, you can reduce your chances of being a victim. Unfortunately, drivers may sometimes participate in negligent behaviors and hit pedestrians regardless of how safe you are. If you ever get hit by a car or truck in Coachella Valley, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to understand your options.