It’s that time of year when the snow begins to fall and, with it, comes slippery roads. Melting and freezing can lead to black ice, and even seasoned drivers can feel a bit out of practice when the icy roads return. Alberta’s Traffic Collision Reports show that the highest number of pedestrian accidents typically occur between the months of October and November. There are a number of reasons for this, and a few easy things you can do to make our roads safer for pedestrians:
- In Alberta, pedestrian accidents seem to be more likely to occur in November. But why? After all, our province typically sees snow and icy roads for seven months out of the year. It appears that there are a number of contributing factors. One of which is the fact that temperatures are still relatively mild which means many pedestrians are still braving the pavement. This is supported by data that shows that February (typically Alberta’s coldest month) has the least pedestrian accidents. There’s also the fact that drivers are adjusting to winter driving conditions. Slow down. Drive with caution. Pay attention.
- Traffic Accident Reports also show that pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur on Thursday and less likely to occur on Sunday. Although we don’t have all the answers as to why this is, we do know that weekdays generally pose a much higher likelihood of pedestrian accidents. There’s more traffic in general during the week as people commute to and from work and school. Whether you are driving or walking, it’s important to take your time and be alert, especially when road conditions might be slippery.
- Accidents involving pedestrians tend to be more likely to occur during the evening rush-hour period (3 – 7 pm). In addition to roads being much busier during these hours, evening rush hour poses some unique challenges. Visibility is often poor at this time of the day due to low light or the setting sun. Temperatures tend to drop and roads are more likely to develop black ice. And there’s the simple fact that people are often impatient to get to school to pick up the kids, head home, etc. What can you do? Take your time. You don’t have to rush just because it’s called ‘rush’ hour. A few extra minutes could save a life. Have pair of sunglasses handy in your vehicle at all times. Always allow lots of room between you and other vehicles and pedestrians.
- Nearly 50% of drivers involved in a pedestrian collision failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to watch for crosswalks. If it is safe to do so, always stop if you see a pedestrian at a crosswalk. Be sure to wait until pedestrians fully cross the road before you resume driving. Even if a pedestrian is no longer in front of your vehicle, moving forward may signal to other drivers that the road is clear and result in another driver colliding with a pedestrian. Be patient. Be courteous.
- In Alberta, the greatest number of pedestrian casualties happen during the months that roads are icy. It’s clear that slippery road conditions are the most significant contributing factor to pedestrian accidents. Keep your eyes on the road. Drive according to the conditions. Leave lots of room between you and other drivers and pedestrians. Winter tires can be a lifesaver and we highly recommend them, but they aren’t foolproof. Black ice is virtually invisible to the eye, so drive like you’re on ice.
Injured in a pedestrian accident? Get access to the care and compensation you deserve.
We have represented injured pedestrians, as well as the families of pedestrians who suffered fatal injuries in accidents. You don’t have to go through this alone. It’s important to know that even if you as a pedestrian contributed to an accident in some way, such as jaywalking or crossing outside of a crosswalk, you still may be able to make an injury claim. Despite what you may have been lead to believe, being partially at fault doesn’t necessarily mean that you are entirely to blame. It won’t cost you anything to speak to a lawyer and, if you do choose us, you don’t pay us anything until your claim is resolved.
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of an accident to make a Personal Injury claim in court, or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or circumstances that may affect the deadline or your claim.
Have questions? Call us or fill out our contact form online and we’ll reach out to you.