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According to statistics from the NHTSA, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths rose in 2018 and have climbed fairly steadily since about 2009.  The trend is alarming to many people who are searching for a more sustainable and active commute.  And, as the NHTSA reminds us, everyone is a pedestrian at some point during the day.  The increased risk to cyclists and pedestrians comes even as new technology promises to make driving safer.

But do these new advancements really help people who are not in the vehicle?

Some automakers have been adding pedestrian-detection systems in conjunction with automatic emergency braking features.  Another issue is the ongoing popularity of SUVs, crossovers, and small trucks, which have a higher profile that tends to strike non-occupants in the middle of their bodies or pull them under the vehicle, rather than knock them onto the hood.  Distracted driving continues to be a threat.

Pedestrians and bicyclists may not be able to completely prevent a tragedy – motorists have to do their parts, too – but a few tips can help keep you safe.  Wear bright, highly visible colors at all times and use lighting at night.  Cross the road at designated crosswalks.  If you must travel in the road, travel in the correct direction and follow the applicable laws and ordinances.

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