In the winter, nights become longer and darker, and it can be a miserable experience having to walk somewhere at night. However, in addition to the cold, nighttime pedestrians also face an increased danger of vehicle-related accidents in the winter. Make sure you keep yourself and your family safe if you must take to the streets after dark.
Causes of nighttime pedestrian accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most pedestrian fatalities occur at night. This is obviously due in large part to the diminished visibility brought on by the darkness. However, darkness may not be the only factor that leads to nighttime pedestrian deaths.
Statistics tend to show that a greater number of fatal pedestrian accidents occur when either the driver or the pedestrian are under the effects of alcohol. Since more people tend to be intoxicated at night, alcohol is a large factor in pedestrian nighttime deaths. In fact, alcohol is involved in 47% of fatal crashes that result in a pedestrian’s death.
What you can do to stay safe
While there’s nothing you can do to prevent drivers on the road from consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel, you can make sure that you are not intoxicated before you go out walking in heavily trafficked areas. Alcohol slows your reaction time, and can make it more difficult for you to get out of the way of oncoming vehicles.
If you know that you will be walking in areas that are not well-lit – such as rural roads – it’s also a good idea to wear an article of reflective clothing, such as a vest. This can help to ensure that drivers will see you, even if there is inclement weather.
There is no surefire way to avoid suffering an accident as a pedestrian. But you can take steps to minimize the risk – and you can take steps to recover the compensation that you deserve if such an accident does happen to you.