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Ways for pedestrians to be safe during the winter

As most New Haven residents know, driving in the winter is often hazardous. Since many people do not walk during freezing weather, less consideration may be given for pedestrians in adverse conditions. However, anyone is a pedestrian if they are walking from their cars through a parking lot; others rely solely on walking to go places, regardless of the season. It is important, therefore, to understand how to be safe as a pedestrian at this time of year.

Pedestrian accidents have been rising in Connecticut in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 45 pedestrians were killed in Connecticut in 2015. It is likely that some of these accidents occurred during rainy, snowy or icy conditions.

In winter, pedestrians may address their increased risk walking near traffic by always being aware of their surroundings. Vehicles may slide on icy roads, especially near intersections. Those who are walking should take extra care to keep an eye on nearby traffic, states WTOP News. Drivers’ visibility may be poor in rainy or snowy weather. Therefore, pedestrians should wear clothing that makes them more visible, such as reflective jackets, bright colors or safety clothing with lights.

Icy walkways are particularly dangerous for those who are walking. The risk of slips and falls may be reduced by wearing flat shoes with heavy treading. Store entrances are often slippery with water and ice, so it is smart to walk slowly and watch out for wet spots. Snow may conceal ice patches, and what appears to be wet pavement may be black ice – therefore, people should be use extra care when walking on pavement during the winter. These tips may not prevent all accidents, but could increase safety for those who are on foot this winter.

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