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3 reasons colder weather leads to greater risks for pedestrians

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Pedestrian Accidents

As the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, personal habits for many people living in Connecticut start to change. People have different daily schedules once their children go back to school, and the impact of seasonal changes on their biological rhythms can also alter their habits.

With that said, many people who walk either for transportation or as their primary form of exercise continue walking outdoors even when the temperatures drop. After all, the human body still needs exercise even when it is cold or dreary outside. What people often do not realize is that the cooler seasons actually inspire an increased amount of risk for pedestrians. The following are a few reasons that the fall, winter and early spring can be dangerous for pedestrians in Connecticut.

Longer nights mean more risk

When looking at data collected by the National Safety Council exploring when pedestrian fatalities occur, it becomes very clear that darker times of day are far more dangerous. A significant majority of pedestrian fatalities occur when light levels are lower. These crashes can happen both in rural areas with no overhead illumination and in metropolitan areas where there our street lights. More darkness generally means greater personal risk of a crash.

The riskiest days are colder

There are specific days each year when personal injury risks are higher than at other times. The deadliest day each year for pedestrians occurs in the fall on Halloween. Numerous trick-or-treaters on the road mean that October 31st is usually the most deadly day all year for pedestrians who are children. The winter also sees some very dangerous days for pedestrians, with New Year’s Day being one of the most dangerous for adult pedestrians due to alcohol consumption on the holiday.

Pedestrians get less attention from motorists

Those out for a drive during the summer months generally acknowledge that there will be pedestrians around during the daytime and will actively watch for them, especially when they approach intersections. When the weather outside is less pleasant, motorists are less likely to look for pedestrians on the road. They could therefore fail to react in time and might cause a crash that leaves someone seriously injured or even dead.

People don’t necessarily need to stop walking for exercise or transportation when temperatures start to drop, but they may want to focus more on their safety because of their increased risk. Learning more about the trends in pedestrian crashes could help someone potentially avoid a life-altering collision.