Winter weather can create dangerous conditions for pedestrians. Slippery conditions, narrow or untreated sidewalks, reduced visibility, out of control vehicles… Here are some examples of factors that can play into pedestrian accidents.
- Haste and speed. Poor weather makes people uncomfortable, so they are likely to move faster to get out of it. Their haste may make them less attentive and more willing to take risks.
- Altered walking conditions. Weather can also make walking surfaces more dangerous and put pedestrians at a higher risk of injury. For example, in the winter, slippery surfaces can decrease pedestrians’ ability to move out of dangere.g., change direction quickly. In fact, evidence suggests that, among older pedestrians, more crashes occur during fall and winter months. Standing water and puddles during other seasons could also contribute to altered pedestrian patterns.
- Poorly treated sidewalks and walkways. Navigating your way through a city after a winter storm can be treacherous, especially in the hours or days before the sidewalks get cleared. Large puddles of slush, or untreated sidewalks can cause a pedestrian to have to walk in the street.
- Reduced visibility for pedestrians. Fog, rain, snow, and darkness reduce visibility, and consequently, the amount of time pedestrians have to react to vehicles. Precipitation also reduces ambient light which makes dawn and dusk more problematic. In addition, rain gear and cold-weather clothing can restrict visibility. In particular, coat hoods can restrict peripheral vision, especially the deep hoods that have become more popular.
- Reduced visibility for drivers. Some of the same factors that reduce pedestrians’ ability to see also affect drivers’. Although fully functioning wipers can help with visibility, fog, rain, and snow still restrict drivers’ ability to see, particularly objects not directly in front of the car.
If you or someone you know has been struck by a vehicle while walking, please contact The Law Offices of Dussault & Zatir to learn more about the case.