19-year-old faces vehicular homicide in Puyallup bicycle accident death

December 17, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

washington drunk driving accident lawyerA Puyallup teen faces upgraded charges of vehicular homicide after the bicycle accident victim that she hit on November 24 died on December 9th of the injuries he sustained in the accident.

Kallie James had been charged with vehicular assault after the accident in which she ran a stop sign and struck Eric Renz, 66 of Puyallup, who was riding his bicycle near the Washington State Fair Grounds.

Renz was hospitalized after the accident but was in a coma and never regained consciousnesses before he died.

James allegedly was high on drugs and marijuana at the time of the accident.

Vehicular homicide, Washington Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person succumbs to injuries suffered in an automobile accident within three years of the incident. Vehicular homicide can be charged if the at-fault driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with reckless disregard to the safety of others.

Those found guilty of vehicular homicide face a sentencing range of between 78-102 months.

Washington Victims of Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is a still a significant problem in the nation and in the state of Washington even though numbers have been declining. Every year, approximately 700 people in the state are killed in motor vehicle accidents and about half of these deaths could have been prevented because the driver was impaired by alcohol and or drugs.

Drugs and alcohol impair a driver's judgment along with their coordination, reaction time and vision.

Criminal versus civil claims

While the state files charges against a drunk driver, victims and their families may file a lawsuit claiming damages in civil court. A conviction of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault is prima facie evidence of reckless behavior and supports a civil claim. The auto accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group can work to maximize the civil judgment.

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Driver faces vehicle assault charges after Bellevue car accident

December 15, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

bellevue victims of drunk driver lawyerA 25-year-old Bellevue man is under arrest and faces charges of Vehicular Assault after he struck a car and seriously injured a 40-year-old Bellevue man in the 15400 block of Lake Hills Boulevard in Bellevue.

The injured man was seriously injured and was transported to Overlake Hospital Medical Center.

Police are awaiting the results of a blood draw and believe that the suspect was under the influence fo alcohol and or drugs at the time of the accident.

Washington vehicle RCW 46.61.522 Vehicular Assault finds that a driver can be charged if a person is seriously injured in a car accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Vehicular assault is a class B felony and results in a license revocation for a year, an ignition interlock license and can result in a prison sentence of at least 3-9 months and fines. The maximum prison sentence is 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

In addition to criminal penalties, the driver can face liabilities in civil court. Victims of vehicular assault can make damage claims for their medical costs, loss of wages and punitive damages.

Bellevue Personal Injury Attorney Represents Seriously Injured Persons

The Farber Law Group has represented the victims of drunken or drugged driving for more than 30 years. We work hard for the injured and their families and we aggressively pursue justice on behalf of the victims of drunk driving accidents. We advise victims to not sign any paperwork or accept any payment for their accident without contacting a personal injury attorney for legal advice. Do not make the mistake of signing your rights away. If you cannot come to us, we will come to see you even in your home or hospital room.

Our Bellevue personal injury attorneys are dedicated to accident victims and that they get immediate and high-quality legal representation. You pay nothing unless we win your case.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Female pedestrian killed near Vancouver mall

December 8, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

A motorist who may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs struck and killed a pedestrian in Vancouver, Washington on Monday morning. The pedestrian, a woman, was killed on Andresen Road near Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive.

The driver fled the accident but crashed his car nearby where he was apprehended.

The Columbian reports that several people had called 911 after witnessing a dark-maroon sedan driving recklessly on Interstate 205.

Early reports said that police were chasing the driver but those reports may have been erroneous.

Washington law makes it illegal for a driver to flee an accident in which a person is seriously injured. This driver faces serious consequences for leaving the scene of an accident and faces charges of Vehicular Homicide.

It is shocking to learn that nearly 20% of all fatal pedestrian accident are caused by hit-and-run drivers. While law enforcement tends to have a pretty successful rate in arresting hit-and-run drivers and penalties are stiff, hit-and-run driving continues to be high, especially when pedestrians and bicyclists are involved.

Why do drivers leave the scene of an accident? Often, the driver is intoxicated and they fear being charged with a DUI especially when it is not their first offense. Some drunk drivers are so intoxicated that they are not even aware that they have been in an accident. In the case of the accident today, this driver may have been so intoxicated that he may have not realized he was driving recklessly. Some drivers flee the scene of an accident because they are driving a stolen vehicle or driving without insurance, registration or driver's license. Others flee because they fear the consequences of their actions.

Hit and run accidents are an ongoing problem in Washington state. While it is difficult, there are some remedies you can take against a hit-and-run driver. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Washington personal inury attorney as soon as possible after the accident so your rights are protected.

Often, the hit-and-run driver is apprehended shortly after the accident or identified later on. Eyewitnesses can help identify the driver or friend and neighbors of the driver, mechanics, or others may report a hit-and-driver after hearing news about an accident. Other times, family members convince the driver to turn themselves in.

There are time limits, however, in pursing an uninsured motorist claim so it is important that injured parties contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist when the accident occurred, your uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy should cover damages. Often, the insurance company will also assist you in identifying the hit-and-run driver so that they do not have to pay your claim.

The personal injury attorneys at The Farber Law Group will make sure that your rights are protected and you are not victimized by insurance companies. It is important that you contact a legal professional as soon after a hit-and-run accident as possible so that important evidence will not be lost including witness interviews. The Farber Law Group is an affiliation of highly experienced Washington car accident attorneys and they will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party or your own insurer.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Travel safety tips for Washington mountain passes

November 18, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

i 90 car accident lawyerThanksgiving is nearly upon us and many motorists will be traveling over mountain passes to be with friends and family. It is incumbent on motorist to prepare their vehicles for winter driving conditions.

The weather on the mountain passes can change from hour to hour and motorists are advised to check the pass reports before traveling. There are several websites and travel apps that can help including www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/snoqualmie/, You can also follow the Washington DOT reports on Snoqualmie Pass on Twitter at @snoqualmiepass. The DOT has a helpful app to load onto your smart phone.

Prepare your vehicle for winter driving

One never knows when traveling across the passes when a blizzard will hit or when the pass might close temporarily due to avalanche, accidents or road clearing.

When you are planning a trip over Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass, be sure your car is equipped with basic items including chains, ice scraper, jumper cables, small shovel, sand or cat litter.

Make sure you are prepared for the comfort of your passengers including extra clothing, blankets, gloves, water, flashlight and food. If you are traveling with small children, be sure to bring extra diapers.

Be sure your gas tank is full before embarking on your journey.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injure in motor vehicle accidents and those who have been killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Insurance Institute recommended list of used car for teenagers

November 17, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

teen_driver.jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published a list of the recommended used cars and SUVs for teens that sell for under $20,000.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes on the nation's roads.

In choosing a recommended vehicle list for teenage drivers, the IIHS looked for both affordability and safety. When teens drive the "wrong car" -- a car without certain safety features and one that is too powerful, it is too easy for them to lose control. Large cars also present a challenge in tight driving situations.

The IIHS makes the following recommendations when selecting a vehicle for a teenage driver:

  • Avoid vehicles with high horsepower, i.e., muscle cars.
  • Heavier and bigger vehicles provide better protection in a car accident.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is aa computerized technology which is a must have safety feature on cars for teenage drivers. ESC detects skidding and improves a vehicle's stability especially around curves. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that one-third of all fatal car accidents.
  • Pay attention to safety ratings. The IIHS rates vehicles on how well they do in different types of crash tests.

Check on the IIHS website for the comprehensive list of recommended used cars for teenage drivers.

Common mistakes made by teen drivers

Teenage drivers are inexperienced drivers so they make a lot of these common mistakes:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Risky driving practices including not checking blind spots, unsafe lane changes, and not using turn signals.
  • Failing to leave a safe following distance.
  • Failing to wear a seat belt.
  • Over-correcting.
  • Driving while tired.
  • Driving with teenage passengers.

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Wrong way drivers causes car accident on I-5 near Tacoma Dome

November 11, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Seattle P-I reports that an 86-year-old driver was involved in a wrong way crash on Interstate 5 in Tacoma late last night. Not only was this senior citizen driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 but police believe that he was driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol at the time.

According to the report, the man entered I-5 travelling north in the southbound lanes and collided head-on with another vehicle after midnight. Both vehicles suffered major front-end damage and both drivers were injured.

Police arrested the wrong-way driver and have booked him into jail. He faces charges of DUI and vehicular assault. Washington vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 "Vehicular Assault" can be charged if a person is seriously injured in a car accident and the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Washington state law finds that a driver is impaired if their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher. With a BAC at this level, a driver often experiences some, if not all of the following effects:

  • Poor muscle coordination which exhibits as slurred speech, delayed reaction time and reduced vision and hearing.
  • Impaired judgment, reasoning and memory.
  • Impaired concentration.
  • Short-term memory loss.
  • Impaired perception.
  • Impaired information processing ability.

This driver probably also had effects of aging against him as well. Many drivers at the age of 86 have already decided to not drive on freeways or drive after dark. The aging process already slows down thought memory, judgment and thought and add alcohol to that mix makes a car accident seem almost inevitable.

DUI Victims Advised to Seek Legal Counsel

Drunk driving accidents affect victims in many ways. The victim often faces physical recovery, monetary losses and trauma. The DUI accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group can't prevent drunk driving accidents from happening but we try to help victims. We have more than 30 years representing drunk driving victims to insure their rights are protected and that they receive all the compensation to which they are entitled.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Horrific South Seattle car crash: dark, rainy conditions cited

October 31, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

wet-road-256054-m.jpg
A 23-year-old man is lucky to be alive after the front-end of the Cadillac he was driving was sheared off in a "horrific" car accident in South Seattle.

The car accident occurred in the 7300 block of Airport Way in South Seattle about 9:40 p.m when the man lost control of his vehicle and stuck a power pole and a tree.

The injured man was found lying outside of his vehicle when aid cars arrived and he was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

While a traffic accident investigation is being conducted, it's hard to speculate on the causes of the car accident. However, the Seattle P-I cited dark and rainy conditions.

For all of us that live in Western Washington, we all know that rain is often heavy and that it is especially difficult to drive in heavy rain during darkness. When driving in rain, it is important to slow down and keep the following safety tips in mind.

Safety tips for driving in rain

When you are driving in heavy rain, visibility is decreased and hindered, so the following tips can help you avoid an accident.
  • Check your tires for tread and for proper inflation to avoid getting into a hydroplaning situation.
  • Avoid flooded roads and intersections. You never know when a flooded road can cause your vehicle to stall or when a flash flood could carry your vehicle away.
  • Check your brakes to make sure they are not saturated after driving through a puddle by braking lightly.
  • Slow down. Stopping distances are longer in the rain.
  • Turn gently. Turn gently on curves as your stopping and on highway on/off ramps as stopping distances are longer in the rain.
  • Don't follow too closely so you can react if a car brakes suddenly.
  • Use your low beams as high beams as rain can create a glare.
  • Use your turn signal to let other drivers know of your intentions.
  • Pull over and quit driving when rain is so heavy that you cannot drive safely. Try to pull completely off the road and use your emergency blinkers.

Bellevue Lawyer Represents Car Accident Victims
http://www.seattlecaraccidentlawyerblog.com/2014/09/2_pedestrian_accident_deaths_i.html
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injrued in car accidents caused by the negligence of another. With our help, you may receive compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Bicycle accident fatalities increase

October 29, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Cities across the nation are encouraging motorists to become bicyclists and bicycle commuting has increased dramatically since 2000. Most cities do not have the infrastructure such as bicycle lanes and complete streets to keep bicyclists safe, and as a result, bicycle accident fatalities are on the rise.

In fact, there was a 16% increase in bicycling accident fatalities between 2010 and 2012 according to a Governors Highway Safety Association study, Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups.

Several factors stand out when looking at bicycle accident fatality statistics:

  • Adults age 20 and over make up 84% of all those killed while bicycling. Of those killed, about 74% were adult males.
  • Bicycle helmets do make a difference. Approximately two-thirds of all bicyclists who were killed were not wearing a bicycle helmets. Many states do not have mandatory bicycle helmet laws but Washington state enacted theirs in 1990.
  • Bicycling and drinking do not mix. 28% of bicyclists killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more.

Where do fatal bicycle accidents occur?

Approximately 37% of all fatal bicycle accident occurred at intersections. Often, T-intersections are involved. Roundabouts, while not common in the U.S., are particularly dangerous for bicyclists. 59% of bicycle deaths occurred on roads considered major but that were not interstate highways or freeways. Not surprisingly, bicycle accident fatalities and severity of injuries increase with higher road speeds.

Washington bicycle accident statistics

In 2012, a bicyclist or pedestrian was involved in a motor vehicle accident every 3 hours. In all, there were 12 bicycle accident fatalities and 110 serious injuries.

Causes of Bicycle accidents

When a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, one of the common contributing factors is "failure to provide a proper lookout" by either the cyclist or the driver. Other factors including drivers making poor turning maneuvers or reckless driving.

Bicycle accident injuries

Arm and leg injuries are very common in bicycle accidents. Chest and abdomen injuries occur in only about 5% of accidents, but when they do happen, they are often quite serious. Head injuries including skull fractures can result in a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.

When to hire a bicycle accident attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue-based personal injury law firm, is here to answer your legal questions. We provide a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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State says school bus stop sign violations on increase

October 21, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

washington_school_bus.jpgThis week is school bus safety week and Washington State's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) says that, based on their survey, more drivers are ignoring school bus stop signs than ever beffore.

According to the OSPI, there has been a 10% increase of motorist violating the the school bus stop sign law when compared with last year.

Washington vehicle code RCW 46.61.370 requires:

The driver of a vehicle upon overtaking or meeting from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus when there is in operation on said school bus a visual signal as specified in RCW46.37.190 and said driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer activated.

On May 1, 2014, the OSPI did a survey in which they counted the number of cars that passed school buses with extended stop signs. In Bellevue where 51 bus drivers participated in the study, there were 66 vehicles that passed the extended stop. In Issaquah with 101 bus drivers participating in the count, 32 were passed and in Seattle with 384 bus drivers participating, 371 vehicles passed the buses.

State School Superintendent Randy Dorn says if the data recorded on May 1 was extrapolated then more than half million drivers are violating school bus stop signs in a school year.

Drive Safely Around School Buses

Since 2000, 130 school-age pedestrians have been struck and killed by school buses or other vehicles.

Be aware that when a school bus flashes its yellow lights, it is preparing to stop to pickup or drop off children. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop.

Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicates that children are loading and unloading from the bus. Drivers must remain stopped until the red lights stop flashing and the stop sign is no longer extended. Be on alert that children might dart across the street at this time. Keep at least a 10 feet distance between your vehicle and a school bus at all times. Be patient and realize that the safety of school children is paramount.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm with offices in Bellevue, Washington and we represent pedestrian accident victims and bus accident victims and their families.

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Are hit and run car accidents on the rise?

October 9, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Almost a week does not go by that we don't read about a hit and run car accident in the news. Just last week, Bellevue police recommended felony charges for a Bellevue woman who was suspected of striking a pedestrian on Coal Creek Drive and then driving off.

It seems like in the past, if a driver bumped another car in a parking lot, they would leave a note with insurance and contact information on the windshield. It appears as this is more a rarity these days.

In some cities such as Los Angeles, up to 50% of all collisions are hit and run. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal hit and run crashes have increased from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,449 in 2011. Hit and run accidents involving fatalities are on the rise. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 20% of all pedestrian fatalities involved hit and run.

According to AAA estimates, 1,5000 people are killed in every year as a result of hit and run accidents and nearly 11% of all motor vehicle accidents are hit and run.

For the victims and their families of hit and run accidents, a hit and run complicates their recovery of damages. Fortunately, in many cases, police are able to track down the hit and run driver with the help of witnesses or the hit and run driver turns themselves in.

Why do drivers leave an accident scene?

Drivers who have been caught for hit and run provide some of the following reasons for their behavior:

  • The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and did not want to face a DUI.
  • The driver did not have a valid driver's license.
  • The driver was uninsured.
  • The driver had a criminal warrant.
  • The driver was at fault and did not want to accept responsibility.

Hit and run drivers face criminal and civil penalties for hit and run

Regardless of whether the hit and run was on a highway, public road or in a parking lot, leaving the scene of an accident can result in criminal penalties. If one leaves the scene of an accident in which a person is injured, penalties can include a felony conviction, fine and even prison.

In addition to criminal penalties, victims of hit and run, can file a civil lawsuit against the hit and run driver. In some cases, damages awarded to the plaintiff will be increased to punish the defendant.

Washington state hit and run laws

Washington vehicle code RCW 46.52.020 requires that drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of injury to another person must stop and remain at the accident scene and provide reasonable assistance for caring for the injured person until medical aid arrives. Failure to provide aid in the case of injury can result in a class B felon with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 fine or class C felony resulting in a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Legal Assistance Washington Hit and Run Victims

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent the victims of hit and run car accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

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Wal-Mart seeks to establish "contributory negligence" in auto accident that seriously injured Tracy Morgan, killed friend

September 30, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Comparative or contributory negligence is a legal defense which allows the plaintiff to negate damages that they may be required to pay for a negligence claim. A defendant may establish a defense that the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to their injuries..

Wal-Mart is claiming comparative negligence in the negligence lawsuit that comedian Tracy Morgan has filed after he was seriously injured when a Wal-Mart truck struck his limousine saying that Morgan and his companions failed to wear seat belts..

Morgan has filed a civil claim against Wal-Mart claiming that Wal-Mart was negligent in the car accident in which Morgan and two others were seriously injured and his friend James McNair was killed.

According to a police investigation of the accident, a truck driven by Kevin Roper, a Wal-Mart employee, rear-ended a limousine containing the comedian and his friends. Roper faces criminal charges including vehicular homicide and assault. According to charges, Roper conduct was reckless and negligent; Roper was speeding prior to the accident and that he fell asleep while driving. Charging pages claim that Roper did not sleep for a full 24 hours before the accident.

Wal-Mart's response to Morgan's complaint is an attempt to reduce the amount of damages that they may be liable for. Morgan and his companions now have a burden of proof to disprove their own negligence.

Morgan of course is upset that Wal-Mart is blaming him for his own injuries. His attorney claims that seat belts had nothing to do with the seriousness of the injuries. Morgan's limousine was apparently at a "dead stop" when the Wal-Mart truck traveling at 65mph slammed into it.

This will be a case to watch. We are sure that Morgan and his companions have secured excellent legal counsel who will fight for them and assist them in maximizing their recovery in this case.

This information is provided by Seattle car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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2 pedestrian accident deaths in Western Washington in 24 hours

September 26, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Two women have been killed in two separate pedestrian accidents in Western Washington in 24 hours. With rainy weather and less daylight, pedestrians are especially vulnerable.

An 82-year-old woman who was crossing in the 700 block of Main Street was struck by a Community Transit bus on Thursday evening around 7:30pm in Monroe and died Friday morning at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. According to the Everett Herald, the woman , was walking to a "Hello Dolly" production at the Frank Wagner Auditorium. There was light rain at the time of the accident.

In Federal Way, a 60-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car as she crossed in the 32200 block of 21st Avenue Southwest around 6:30am. An article in The Seattle Times cited "poor driving conditions/light and a pedestrian crossing outside of a crosswalk" as factors in the accident.

Safety Tips for Walking in Rainy/Dark Weather

These two tragedies may have been prevented and both women taken some safety precautions. When walking in the rain or the early or late evening hours, precautions have to make sure they are seen. The following are some safety tips:

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  1. Make sure you are seen by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Carry a flashlight to make yourself more visible.
  2. Only cross at crosswalks and do not jay walk. Drivers do not expect people to be crossing mid-block.
  3. Avoid walking on a road shoulder, or if you have to, stay as far away from the roadway as possible. Glare of headlights and windshield wipers impairs driver's visibility.
  4. Be aware that motor vehicles can hydroplane so if you see puddles and water on the road, make sure you give drivers extra stopping distance before you cross the road.
  5. Make sure you are seen by drivers by making eye contact.
  6. When crossing driveways, parking lots and at traffic lights, be especially care of turning drivers.

  7. Don't distract yourself with your cell phone or headphones. Be alert and watchful of traffic around you.

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