Winter time can be as hazardous for pedestrians as it can for drivers on icy roadways. Pedestrians must navigate cold conditions, slick surfaces, and poor visibility when stepping outside. Additionally, they must be cautious for drivers losing control of their vehicles that can pose a potential hazard. While winter conditions typically cause drivers to take greater caution on the roads, the mix of moisture on the roadways, poor visibility, and freezing temperatures can mean that even the safest driver could become a threat to pedestrians alongside roadways, in parking lots, or moving through crosswalks. As you face the winter weather, consider these following safety tips to make it safely to your destination.
A key factor in avoiding a fall is appropriate footwear for the conditions. Two considerations are foot comfort and traction. Comfort will allow you to feel the surface of the ground much better, adding stability. In wet conditions, opt for a waterproof boot to keep your foot dry and warm. Use wool socks to insulate your foot in the cold to stave off numbness. As far as traction is concerned, you will need all you can get on icy surfaces. Avoid smooth soled trainers and casual shoes. You do not want to find out how hard the icy pavement is with your skull. Instead, pick a boot with plenty of grippy tread on the sole and stay upright this winter.
When entering stores, be mindful of the slick surfaces immediately inside and outside. Business owners should take precautions to warn you of wet floors, but never assume. As people come in from the wet and cold outside, they may leave water and ice melting on the floors just inside a doorway. Exercise caution and use a shopping cart or handrail for extra stability.
Sidewalks, Parking Lots, and Crosswalks
A good rule of thumb is if there is a pedestrian specific walkway, use it. This includes sidewalks and crosswalks. The extra distance from the roadways and the high visibility of these walkways can save your life from an unaware driver otherwise not spotting you in the road. In parking lots or areas without pedestrian paths, always assume a driver cannot see you and cannot stop in time. While the pedestrian generally should have the right away, it does not do you much good if you are flattened by a passing vehicle.
Seek Legal Assistance
If you do happen to slip, trip, or fall on the premises of a business, take a moment to consider whether it could have been avoided. If the store owner was negligent in cleaning up a slick surface and notifying patrons about the conditions, you may have a good case for a personal injury claim. Likewise, if a driver disregards the rules of the road or fails to maintain control of their vehicle and you become a victim, you owe it to yourself to seek compensation for potential damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.