Whether you walk daily for exercise or you live in an urban area of Phoenix where walking most places is part of your daily life, it is important to remember that you can only depend on yourself as far as your safety is concerned. In other words, you should never completely rely on motorists to see you or adhere to pedestrian right-of-way laws.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to increase your safety the next time you go for a walk. Here are a few tips to reduce your chances of being hit by a car.

Be alert

Have you ever walked down the sidewalk and had to dodge another person who was too engrossed in their smartphone to see oncoming pedestrians? The chances are good that you probably see this kind of behavior every day. Just like distracted driving, distracted walking can lead to an accident. Avoid distractions while you are out walking. This includes texting while walking and listening to headphones or earbuds at a level too high to hear what is going on around you.

Follow traffic rules

Like cars, pedestrians have rules they must follow as well. For example, avoid jay walking and be sure to follow crosswalk signs and signals. Also, be aware of the rules that the motorized traffic has to follow in the area where you are walking. Even though you have certain rights as a pedestrian — for example, when the crosswalk is signaling you to walk — do not depend on drivers, cyclists or motorcycle riders to see you. If you can, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before you step into the street.

Don’t drink and walk

While walking home after a night out might seem like a safer idea than getting behind the wheel, it can actually be very dangerous as well. In fact, approximately 50 percent of all pedestrian fatalities due to a traffic collision are directly linked to alcohol consumption. Since alcohol impairs both your mental and physical faculties, intoxication can increase your chances of suffering an accident.

While the above tips can help you avoid a pedestrian accident with a vehicle, it is not always possible to avoid a collision with an irresponsible driver. If you are the victim of a negligent driver, you might be able to file a claim for your injuries and other related damages.