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Prevent Injuries on the Road

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Get where you're going safely.

Your safety is important, whether you walk, bike or drive. That's why we promote policies and laws to prevent injuries.  Find resources and tools below to help you arrive safely.

Walk safely

Walking to your destination is great for your health. You get exercise and help improve air quality at the same time.

Children in our community are frequently on foot when they go to school or play. Learn more about pedestrian safety, and what you can do to keep kids safe:

Bike safely

Pedal power is another healthy way to travel—just make sure you bike safely. Follow these tips to protect yourself and others:

  1. Wear a helmet—More than a good idea, it's the law. Make sure you get a helmet that fits.
  2. Bike responsibly:
    • Think like a car. Ride with traffic—not against it—and obey traffic signals.
    • At night, use a headlight that's visible for 500 feet and a rear reflector visible for 600 feet.
    • Check your brakes. They should make a slight skid on dry pavement.
    • You can ride on the roadway, shoulder, sidewalk or bike lane, but always yield to pedestrians.
    • Avoid freeways. If you must, always use the shoulder.
    • Use hand signals when turning.

    Cyclist demonstrates proper hand signals for left turns, right turns, and stops.

  3. Be proactive:
    • Plan your route. Use bike lanes, follow shared lane arrows, and designated bike routes when possible.
    • Be aware. How fast is traffic moving? If a parked car’s door opens, can you avoid it in time?
    • Watch out for road hazards. Avoid potholes and debris, and cross railroad tracks carefully.
    • Be seen! Use lights, bright clothing, and hand signals to make yourself more visible.
    • Follow lane markings. Don't go straight in right-turn only lanes or make a left turn from a bike lane.
  4. Check out these resources:

Drive safely

Whether on your morning commute or a cross-state trip, drive responsibly. Prioritize safety when you get behind the wheel to prevent collisions with people or other cars:

  • Buckle up—everyone, every time.
    • Infants and young children require car seats.
    • Children should use booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.
  • Don't drive distracted.
  • Stay alert.
    • On long trips, stop frequently to move around and get fresh air.
    • Drive sober. Don't drive if you are using alcohol, marijuana, drugs, or any medications that might make you sleepy.
    • Look for pedestrians and cyclists, especially when turning right.

In Washington, car crashes happen about every five minutes. In 2015, more than 550 people died in car collisions and another 2,100 were seriously injured. All of these were preventable. Learn more about safety on the roads:

 

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