Pedestrians need always be concerned with the cars and trucks they travel alongside, but winter is a time to practice extra caution to avoid pedestrian accidents. Bad weather and areas where sidewalks are not shoveled pose new threats to pedestrians during this time of year.
During and after snowstorms, drivers struggle with road conditions and visibility, increasing the risk for car accidents and pedestrian accidents. A driver’s ability to see pedestrians is often impaired by large snow piles and shorter hours of daylight. Pedestrian accidents are more likely in areas where sidewalks are not cleared and pedestrians are forced to walk in the road.
These factors mean pedestrians have to plan their travel carefully and dress appropriately. The Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck offer these tips:
- Limit your walking where snowbanks are high. If you have to walk outside, avoid walking at night or during the snowfall, when there is less visibility.
- If you can, find out in advance whether the area you will walk has cleared sidewalks. This is important on busy traffic routes, back roads and highways. Plan accordingly.
- If you have to walk outside, carry a cell phone in case of emergency. But do not use it while walking in the roadway or crossing the street. To avoid a pedestrian accident, wait until you reach a sidewalk or a safe area in a parking lot. (Some states are considering banning cell phone use while crossing streets. Click here for a New York Times article on the subject). Even if it is not the law, it is good practice!
- Wear lightly or brightly colored clothing. Reflective neon clothing can provide benefits in both daylight and night hours by allowing drivers to see pedestrians sooner and adjust their driving if necessary. Some walkers use flashlights or even flashing lights to warn vehicles.
- If you see a commercial truck with snow on its roof, contact the company to report the driver. Snow on top of a vehicle can slide off and be thrown at other motor vehicles and pedestrians, causing car accidents and significant personal injuries. Look for the name of the company on the vehicle’s exterior or take note of its name. It’s best if you have at least part of the vehicle identification or license plate number. Several states have laws requiring drivers to clear snow from their vehicle’s roof.
- And if you are driving, take time to clear your car as well. This will increase visibility while you are driving, and prevent potential accidents for drivers and pedestrians around you.
The Boston pedestrian accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck are experienced at handling complex cases of pedestrian accidents, motor vehicle accidents and truck accidents resulting in serious personal injuries. We have the skills, experience and resources to obtain results for our clients. If you have a case, contact us now at 617-723-7676 or use our form.