Walking (safely) in a Winter Wonderland
It’s December 1st and a few things are setting in, most of us have worn pajamas to work for almost a year, handshakes are a thing of the past, and winter is well on its way. This means that there is an even greater need to stay vigilant while you take a walk. We’ve put together a few tips for walkers and drivers to help keep everyone safe this winter.
Tips for Pedestrians
Wear the right footwear – Wear boots or shoes with rubber tread to reduce your risk for slips and falls.
Plan your walks – When possible, try to plan your walks and outings during hours with daylight and clear weather. Planning ahead can reduce chances for accidents while rushing.
Follow the rules of the road – Always walk on the sidewalk when there is one. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic, staying as far to the left as possible. Try to avoid walking on streets, as cars and trucks can slip too!
Cross the street safely – Always cross the street at a crosswalk. If there are no crosswalks, the safest place for a pedestrian to cross is at an intersection.
Make eye contact with drivers – Before crossing the street, wait until vehicles have come to a complete stop. Making eye contact with drivers can help make sure that they are aware of you. Remember that cars and trucks need longer than usual to stop in snowy or slippery conditions.
Stay aware of your surroundings – Try not to use your phone or text while walking. Drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles during snowy or slippery weather, so it’s important to stay aware of the traffic around you.
Tips for Drivers
Stay cautious – Drive slowly, increase your following distance in between you and the car in front of you, and stay aware of pedestrians around you and/or at upcoming intersections.
Slow down gradually – on snowy or slippery roads, start slowing down sooner to prevent pressing hard on brakes which can cause your vehicle to go out of control.
Be patient with pedestrians – in winter weather, it can take walkers longer to get across roads safely. Be patient and stay vigilant.
Don’t drive distracted – It’s especially important to reduce distractions during winter weather. Don’t text or use your cell phone while driving, and try to reduce distractions from navigation and entertainment systems.