Extreme winter weather conditions can cause unsafe conditions for not only motorists, but pedestrians as well. Freezing conditions can result in ice and snow accumulation on sidewalks and roadways, which when coupled with slick driving conditions for motorists can increase risk of pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles.
Pedestrian Winter Safety Tips
Because pedestrians and motorists share responsibility for preventing accidents, it is important that pedestrians are aware of their surroundings and take steps to protect themselves.
The following are some tips for pedestrians who find themselves outdoors in the wintertime:
- Wear proper shoes or boots. They should be well insulated with non-slip tread. Ideally, they should be waterproof as well.
- Always walk instead of running during the wintertime. Although many people like to jog or run as part of their exercise routine, this is not safe in the wintertime, especially on concrete and cement surfaces. A fall on ice while running can cause serious injuries.
- Be wary of slippery surfaces. If the sidewalk is slippery, chances are the roads are as well. Be cautious when around slippery roads, as drivers may lose control of their vehicles. Walk as far away from the road as possible.
- Be very cautious in crosswalks. Rain, snow and fog can block a driver’s vision and make you invisible. In addition, bad weather in Pennsylvania or New Jersey can prevent a driver from braking in time, so be sure cars are fully stopped before entering a crosswalk.
- Older adults should avoid walking outdoors in icy or snowy conditions if possible. Older adults may be more prone to slip and fall accidents, and the consequences of such accidents can be severe.
Common sense is necessary when walking outside in wintry conditions. The easiest rule to remember is to stay alert and watch where you are walking. Distractions can lead you to trip over a pothole or slip on an area covered by snow, and not paying attention to weather conditions or traffic may put you at risk of being involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle.
Dealing with Serious Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian accidents involving a motor vehicle can lead to a variety of injuries. They may be minor injuries like scrapes and bruises, and some may experience broken bones or other more serious injuries. Still, some may result in catastrophic injuries such as severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or even death.
As a result, accidents involving pedestrians can lead to a series of expenses and losses:
- physical therapy; and
- home care.
You may file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver if you are hit by a car to recover these and other damages you may suffer.
Filing Your Personal Injury Claim
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State” report, New Jersey ranked fifth in the country in pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2009; Pennsylvania ranked eighth.
Despite being extremely cautious and taking safety precautions in the winter weather, accidents still may happen. If a driver hit you while you were walking in or around the road, a lawyer at Cordisco & Saile LLC can provide legal representation if you wish to pursue a personal injury claim. Contact us at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.