Walking is a great way to get exercise, and many of us walk a lot, especially on vacation.

Cities are also trying to attract residents by making suburbs as well as city centers pedestrian friendly. But as the Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America notes, when you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll through some new and beautiful city or even your own home town, it’s important to keep your focus and be aware of your surroundings. You’re more distracted by your smartphone than you may realize.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2013, totaling 4,735 deaths. NHTSA also found that nearly 3 out of 4 pedestrian deaths occur in urban environments (73%), at nonintersections (70%), during night (70%), and many involve alcohol. Pedestrians and drivers don’t obey laws and signals consistently, NHTSA says, and many often use cellphones and music players while walking or driving.

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Posted 10:41 AM

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