Cold Michigan winters may send many pedestrians indoors. But when you decide to brave the weather, you may also be at a higher risk of a pedestrian accident. Here are some pedestrian safety tips to stay safe in the ice and snow.
The cold weather can cause big problems for your body. When temperatures drop and the wind picks up, frostbite or hypothermia can set in after just minutes. If you are taking to the sidewalks as a pedestrian, make sure your extremities are protected. Remember to keep fingers and toes as warm as possible, and to avoid exposing skin, even on your face.
Cold-related injuries happen most often when people become unexpected pedestrians. If you have car trouble or go off the road, you could find yourself walking and exposed to the cold when you don’t expect it. Consider keeping a blanket in your trunk to protect yourself from the weather.
Keep Your Vision and Hearing Clear
There is a careful balance between bundled up and hobbled. Hats, scarves, earmuffs, and hoods may be necessary to stay warm, but they may also block your vision or hearing. But when pedestrians are distracted or unable to see or hear the vehicles around them, accidents are more likely to occur. Stay sharp and make sure your vision and hearing clear so you will be more aware of everything around you.
Pedestrians are more likely to be walking at night during the winter. Especially when there is snow in the air, it can be difficult for drivers to see a pedestrian wearing dark clothing at night. Be visible. Wear bright or reflective clothing that will catch the light of cars headlights.
Wear High Traction Footwear
Ice and snow can make walking treacherous in the winter. Especially when crossing high-traffic roads, slush can turn one wrong step into a serious pedestrian accident. If you plan to be walking in the snow, make sure your shoes or boots are up to the challenge. Choose footwear with deep treads. They will provide high traction and keep you on your feet.
Walk Facing Traffic
When the roads are slick, black ice can quickly send an unaware driver off the road and into pedestrians’ path. Keep a look out. Walk facing traffic so you can more easily see an accident coming. That way you will be less likely to get blindsided by a vehicle from behind.
Avoid Walking in the Roadway
When snow builds up, some residents and businesses sometimes fall behind on clearing their sidewalks. It may seem easier to just walk in the plowed street. But whenever pedestrians and vehicles share the same space, that’s where accidents happen. By walking along the roadway you are greatly increasing the risk that you might be injured by a driver who isn’t paying attention.
At Christensen Law, we know how a serious pedestrian injury can change your life. If you have been seriously injured by a vehicle, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.