How the Weather Could Ruin Your Walk in More Ways Than One
During the spring and summer, you and your husband make sure that you go for an evening walk every single day, no matter what. Rain or shine, tired or energized, the walk is important to get exercise and unwind from a long day.
Unfortunately, today was one of those tired and rainy days, so you weren’t exactly thrilled about going. However, your husband insisted, so you put on your rain jacket and boots and headed down Glenwood toward Greenwich Park. The rain was getting heavier and you were absolutely soaked, so you made the executive decision to turn around once you hit the intersection at Georgetown.
You made it to the intersection without drowning, but as you stepped out into the crosswalk, your husband suddenly pulled you back onto the curb as an SUV came barreling through, narrowly missing you. It was so close that the eddy of air that followed the vehicle actually flung some of the rainwater off your face.
What was his issue? Why didn’t he stop?Weather Concerns for Pedestrian Accidents
When you’re caught off guard by a change in the weather—or perhaps intentionally walking in a rainstorm—your immediate concerns are generally based on how wet you’ll get, if you’ll get a cold, or the possibility of a lightning strike. However, what you should be worried about is traffic. Most health risks and serious injuries involved with walking in the rain revolve around traffic accidents, not the threat of getting a cold.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, nearly 1.3 million crashes occur as a direct result of bad weather in the U.S. each year. Approximately 50 percent (650,000) of these accidents are a direct result of rain and thunderstorms.
Spring and summer storms are a natural and mostly welcomed aspect of the seasons; however, they can be potentially treacherous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Four common risks include:
- Poor visibility. Fog, grey clouds, and torrential downpours can dramatically decrease a driver’s visual perception.
- Wet pavement. Excess water on the roads can cause cars to slip and slide when braking, increasing your chance of being struck in a crosswalk.
- “Get out of the rain” mentality. A sudden downpour can surprise pedestrians and cause them to act carelessly in order to quickly get to cover. This results in an increase of pedestrians ignoring traffic signals and running across traffic to get to their destinations faster.
- Poor weather driving. Drivers who are timid or overly cautious in rainstorms can cause dangerous backups and confusion, while reckless driving can cause catastrophic pedestrian accidents.
If you find yourself caught in a rainstorm during a walk, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and that you take proper safety precautions to avoid traffic and potential collisions. Remember, drivers may not see you and it is easier and safer for you to get out of their way than for them to have to maneuver around you. Use good judgment and get off the roads as soon as possible, for your safety as well as the drivers around you.
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