The death of a woman hit by a car at Fayetteville’s Bragg Boulevard earlier this month highlights the dangers vehicles pose to pedestrians.
While pedestrians always face a lot of dangers from errant drivers, these risks are never greater than during the winter months.
Why is winter a perilous time for pedestrians?
Intersections are high-risk areas for pedestrians at any time of year. It is where you must cross the path of cars. Simultaneously, there will be cars crossing your path, potentially from multiple directions at once. Winter adds new hazards. Here are some:
- Reduced daylight hours: Because there are fewer hours of daylight in winter, it is more likely you will be out walking during the darkness. You are less visible in the dark.
- Increased braking distances: Winter weather can make the road surface slippery. If a driver sees you late, they may not be able to stop as quickly as they could in dry summer conditions. Wet road surfaces increase braking distance.
- Reduced visibility: Bad weather is more likely during winter. Falling rain makes it harder to see pedestrians. Lower temperatures mean drivers wind up their windows tight, increasing the risk their breath steams up the glass. Rain at night can cause other cars’ headlights to flare on drivers’ windshields, making it harder for them to see out.
- Hunkering down: When the sun is shining, you probably walk with your head up, looking all around and taking it all in. In winter, you may huddle down into your coat or scarf and focus on getting back to the warmth of your house. You might be less aware of what is going on around you.
While police have not yet disclosed the exact cause of the Bragg Boulevard collision, the lesson is clear. Take extra care when out driving or walking in winter. Pedestrian accidents can have catastrophic consequences. If you have fallen victim to a negligent driver, you have every right to pursue compensation for your losses.