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Pedestrians: Stay safe by staying off the highway

It's important that pedestrians understand the risks of being on the side of a road. Unlike when you're in a city in a crosswalk or other obvious location, standing on the side of a highway, even after an accident, can result in you being hit. Drivers don't always pay attention, and it's possible that even if you're off the roadway, a negligent driver could hit you.

Why would people stop on a highway and get out of the car? One reason is to use the bathroom. This applies particularly in cases where drivers are on long trips with few rest stops. It's a bad idea, though, because your vehicle acts like a protective barrier in the case of an accident. Without it, your chances of survival are much lower.

Another reason people get out of their vehicles is because of needing to pick up something that fell off their vehicles and onto the road. While this is important, it's very dangerous to get out of your vehicle on a highway. It's better to pull to the side and stay in the vehicle while calling for assistance. Even stopping on the shoulder can be dangerous, so if you have to do so, remember to stay aware of what's going on around you. You should never enter the highway on foot for any reason, since traffic is moving quickly and unlikely to notice a pedestrian in the roadway soon enough to slow or stop.

It's wise never to stop on the side of a highway to do routine tasks like texting or eating. Wait until you can pull into a parking lot or rest area; it could save your life. If you do have to get out of your vehicle following an accident or other situation, move as far off the highway as possible. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights and await help.

Source: New Haven Register - Accidents, "WATCH: Connecticut authorities warn of danger to pedestrians after fatal crashes," Wes Duplantier, Dec. 02, 2016

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