Is There a Higher Risk of Pedestrian Accidents in the Winter Months?

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way many Virginians go about their daily lives. Although we did have a bit of a reprieve over the summer months with the warmer weather and the ability to enjoy outdoor activities, the arrival of winter weather severely limits the amount of time we can spend outdoors. And with the number of virus cases skyrocketing throughout the country again, many Virginia families will likely find themselves spending a lot of time in their homes again, similar to last spring when the pandemic first hit.

As we stay in our homes and focus on social distancing, one of the activities that can help break up the monotony, as well as provide fresh air and exercise, is to take walks. However, because we are heading into winter, this also means that the number of daylight hours is much shorter, along with the potential of icy roads as the temperatures drop. Pedestrians need to really focus on staying safe and watching out for drivers who may be engaged in distracted driving behaviors or had a few drinks to celebrate the holiday season.

Pedestrian Accidents

Many people who are victims of pedestrian accidents end up with serious to catastrophic injuries due to the incredible impact of being struck by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds and having no protection around them. These accidents often leave the victim with permanent and devastating injuries, such as brain damage or paralysis.

Some of the most common injuries pedestrian accident victims who come to our firm for help suffer from include:

  • Concussions
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Skin abrasions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Whiplash

Nightfall Risks

Whenever a person is walking along a street or road, there is always some risk they will be struck by a vehicle, but those risks spike much higher during the nighttime hours. This risk is extended during the winter because days are shorter, and nights are longer. Drivers have a responsibility to be on alert for any pedestrians who are at crosswalks, as well as obey all of Virginia traffic laws. It is well documented that there are higher risks of pedestrian accidents at night because of the following factors:

  • Drunk driving: National data shows that more than half of all drunk driving accidents occur between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m.
  • Visibility is reduced: Dim, poor, or no street lighting, headlights that are not bright enough, glare from oncoming traffic headlights, and weather conditions can all cause difficulty for the driver to see what is on the road, including a pedestrian.
  • Reaction time: A driver’s reaction time may be delayed because their depth perception can be compromised during nighttime hours.
  • Bad weather: Heavy rain, sleet, and rain can hamper a driver’s ability to see during the day or night, but bad weather is even more dangerous at night because of its interference with the ability to see.

Call a Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have may be able to pursue compensation that will address your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, and more.

The Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for victims and their families for more than 30 years, using all available resources to successfully obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances of the case. Our attorneys have built solid reputations as skilled negotiators who will not hesitate to pursue litigation if the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith.

 

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Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia