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We often hear about how dangerous icy roads can be for motorists, but the danger wintry conditions poses to pedestrians should not be overlooked. In fact, a simple walk from the door of your residence to your car, or a walk across a poorly maintained parking lot can prove to be a dangerous proposition. It is important to keep your own safety, as well as the safety of other pedestrian, in mind any time when you leave your house this time of year.

The biggest threat to pedestrians at any time of year comes from cars and trucks. The high speeds at which they travel can cause serious injury to any pedestrian. But this time of year heightens the risk for several reasons.

Limited Sidewalk Access

While home-owners and property owners are required by New Jersey law to keep their sidewalks clear, often this necessary maintenance isn’t always performed. There are also roads with no sidewalks available. When this is the case, it is important that you stay as close to the side of the road as possible when walking. You should also walk facing the flow of traffic so that you can see what vehicles are headed towards you. Make sure you are paying attention to the road, as a slip-and-fall accident here will make it very difficult for motorists to see you as they drive down the road.

Reduced Visibility

There are many affects the winter season can have on visibility, some of them might not be immediately obvious. Of course, snow and rain can reduce visibility and make it difficult for motorists to see you walking. Additionally, shorter hours of sunlight increase the chances that pedestrians will be walking at night, and during the day it may be difficult to see pedestrians as there can be a strong glare off snowy and icy surfaces. Finally, the colder temperatures encourage pedestrians to wear hats, hoods, scarves, and other protective clothing which can limit both their hearing as well as sight. While it is important to stay warm during the winter, always make sure you are able to properly see your surroundings, and can hear approaching vehicles.

Deadly Distractions

While there may be laws against texting and driving, texting while walking is a different matter. This can prove especially dangerous in winter months due to the prevalence of icy surfaces, many of which are not immediately obvious where black ice has formed. It is critical for pedestrians to pay careful attention to their surroundings, not only may there be icy patches under your feet, icicles falling from overhanging surfaces also pose a serious risk. If you do come across an icy surface, you can mitigate your risk of falling by taking short steps with your knees bent. Keep your hands free to grab balancing surfaces or braces yourself in the event that you do fall.

Morristown Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Despite our best preparations and attention to detail, sometimes pedestrian accidents are simply unavoidable. We cannot stop other people from making poor decisions like drinking and driving, or failing to maintain their premises, but when this does happen a personal injury lawyer can help you to recover and protect you and your family’s financial future.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of another party’s recklessness or negligence, the Morris County personal injury law team of Smith & Doran is ready to help. Contact us online or through our Morristown offices at 973-261-6254 to schedule a cost-free consultation today.

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