With some of the most notable tourist attractions in the country, it’s no surprise that New York is known for its heavy pedestrian traffic. While the winter weather forces more people indoors, studies show that rates of pedestrian-involved incidents may actually increase during this time of year. However, there are various factors that go into it. This blog will discuss the risk factors involved with winter pedestrian accidents and what potential steps can be taken to reduce these risks.
Contributing Factors to Winter Pedestrian Accidents
One of the main contributors to these incidents is decreased visibility. During this time of year, it gets dark earlier, making it difficult for drivers and pedestrians alike to spot each other on the roads. This, in conjunction with cold weather, can also cause drivers to take more risks since they tend to be overconfident in their abilities when driving in inclement weather. Inattentional blindness is also a potential risk factor, as drivers become more easily distracted by the weather conditions and fail to see pedestrians in the roadway.
On the other hand, pedestrians don’t always take necessary precautions when crossing the street in the winter months. They may assume that it’s safe to cross quickly because of fewer drivers on the roads or not pay close enough attention to their surroundings due to being bundled up. Ice and snow can also make it easier for a pedestrian to lose traction, which can impact their ability to move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle.
Safety Precautions to Take
There are a few simple steps pedestrians and drivers can take to reduce the risk of winter pedestrian accidents. For pedestrians, it’s important to ensure you are visible, even in low-light conditions. Although the typical winter "uniform" is bundled up in dark-colored materials, wearing reflective or bright clothing is one of the most effective ways to be seen. It's also crucial to be cautious when crossing the street, such as by using a flashlight and only crossing in marked crosswalks.
For drivers, it’s key to remain vigilant and pay close attention to your surroundings. This is especially true when visibility is impaired by severe weather. Taking extra caution when making turns and checking for pedestrians before accelerating are also important steps that can help keep everyone safe.
Pedestrian Accident? Contact The Paris Law Group, PC
Pedestrians and drivers should both play their part in sharing the roads. However, when negligent actions contribute to someone's serious injury, you have the right to take legal action. The team at The Paris Law Group, PC can help ensure your rights are protected through the personal injury claims process. Call (888) 365-4940 today to discuss your options in a free consultation.