Colorado has four beautiful seasons. Although the state is famous for winter activities, there are certain dangers that increase when the weather is colder. People generally understand that motor vehicle travel can be a bit riskier during colder months, but they may not consider that walking is also more dangerous. Whether someone jogs regardless of the season or walks to the local store to avoid driving on icy roads, they need to be aware of the possibility that they could get into a pedestrian crash.
When a car strikes a pedestrian, the individual might incur major injuries ranging from broken bones to brain injuries. Pedestrian crashes are actually more of a safety concern during the colder season based on certain statistics and risk factors.
The most dangerous days for pedestrians are in fall and winter
Gathering collision data helps inform public policy. It can also help educate individuals about how to keep themselves safer. For years, researchers have known that the fall is when minors have the highest risk of pedestrian crashes. Specifically, Halloween or October 31st is the date with the most fatal pedestrian crashes involving minors every year. Children excited to trick or treat with their friends often that make bad choices that lead to tragedy. The most dangerous day for adults to be out on the road in Colorado is colder than Halloween.
New Year’s Day tends to see a major increase in pedestrian fatalities. Many people make the choice to walk home from parties after drinking too much. Unfortunately, alcohol can affect the judgment of pedestrians the same way it can affect drivers, and they may end up causing a crash by engaging in unsafe behavior. Even if the pedestrian is not under the influence, their chance of encountering a driver who is can be higher than normal.
Drivers don’t watch as closely in colder weather
Pedestrians are very easy for people in vehicles to overlook. Motorists need to actively watch for pedestrians to minimize their chance of causing a crash with them. Unfortunately, when the weather is colder, drivers are far less likely to actively look for pedestrians. Therefore, the risk of the driver failing to notice a pedestrian will be higher.
Obviously, people can’t just avoid walking places when the weather is chilly. Still, they can use what they know about pedestrian safety to mitigate their own risk. Understanding what contributes to crash risk can help people make safety-conscious choices.