As a pedestrian, you are vulnerable to a possible car crash at any time, but in the winter the danger is even more prevalent.
According to recent statistics, Ohio is one of the worst, if not the worst, place to drive in the winter. There are many accidents, which can lead to the injury or fatality of unfortunate pedestrians. What makes winter such a hazardous time for pedestrian-vehicle accidents? How can you stay safe while walking in the winter?
Hazards that create crash conditions
- Slick roads: Roads with ice, snow or slush account for over 500,000 crashes each year. During the winter, roads can build up with slush and ice, making it difficult for a driver to control the vehicle and come to a complete stop in time. If you, a pedestrian, are in their path, they may not be able to avoid hitting you.
- Low visibility: When it is snowing so much that a driver can barely see the car in front of them, there is a high possibility that they will not be able to see you in the street. Whiteout or blizzard conditions can create scary situations for pedestrians.
- Inexperienced driver: In areas where snowy weather is common, many of the drivers know how to drive in poor conditions. However, there are still new drivers who are inexperienced at driving in the winter, and they are hazardous to people walking in the street.
- Night: Walking at night when it is snowing can be dangerous, as it is difficult for drivers to see you with the added obstruction of snowfall.
Staying safe as a pedestrian
- Stay alert: It is easy to get caught up in your phone while you are walking down the street, but this may be dangerous. Stay alert by looking around for possible oncoming cars while you are walking in the winter.
- Abide by traffic signals: Walk when it says WALK and do not walk when it says DON’T WALK. This may sound obvious, but cars hit many people in the winter when pedestrians are walking in an intersection. Without the driver’s ability to make a quick-stop due to snow, you may find yourself in a dire situation.
- Check the weather before you go: If it is blizzarding, it may not be wise to go out for a walk or choose to walk to your destination. Check the weather and check the road conditions before setting out.
Winter can look like a winter wonderland, but there are dangers hidden in the falling flakes. Following the safety tips listed above, as well as being aware of the possible driving hazards can help you avoid a pedestrian-vehicle crash.