4 tips for driving, riding and walking safely in the winter

Western New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Western New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Whether this is your first Winter in New York or your twentieth, it can take some time to adjust to conditions. Not only is it cold, but it can also be icy and messy, making all forms of travel more difficult and less safe.

As such, now is a good time to review some tips for staying safe when you walk, bike or drive on New York roads.

Stay alert

Distraction is a common cause of collisions. When people are not paying attention to their surroundings, they can walk into dangerous areas or crash into other vehicles; they might ride through a stop sign or red light. And they may not hear sirens or see an obstacle ahead.

Thus, staying alert is crucial. Road users should be sure they pay attention to what they see and hear. They should be scanning the roads and taking note of others in the lanes around them.

Stay sober

A person impaired by drugs or alcohol can be at an increasingly high risk of getting hurt on the road. They can experience conditions such as:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Slower reflexes
  • Vision loss or impairment
  • Confusion
  • Increased aggression

These symptoms can affect a person’s ability to make safe, fast decisions, making an accident or collision more likely. Don’t drink and drive or ride with anyone else who does.

Make sure others can see you

The days are short, and most people spend more time out in the dark than in daylight. Thus, ensuring other people can see you will be crucial.

As a driver, be sure you use your headlights and turn signals. Stay out of people’s blind spots and clear all ice and snow off your vehicle.

As a pedestrian or bicyclist, you should wear reflective clothing, lights, or both. You should also use marked crosswalks or bike lanes and wait for motorists to see you or stop to allow you to cross the street.

Check your equipment

Inspecting equipment before heading out can be the difference between getting home safely and winding up at the hospital.

Drivers should ensure their lights, cameras, sensors, and tires work correctly. Cyclists should also inspect their tires. They can also wear eye protection, helmets and other protective gear. Pedestrians should dress warmly without inhibiting their vision or mobility and wear boots with good traction.

Winter weather conditions cause thousands of crashes and fatalities each year. These tips can help everyone reach their destinations safely this winter.

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