Slipping and Sliding on D.C. Sidewalks: Risky Facts for Pedestrians

Braving the cold, winter weather can be quite a feat for anybody trying to get to a desired destination: work, shopping, eating out. Each of these can become difficult tasks when winter weather is involved. But, for pedestrians, walking around Washington, D.C.’s busy city sidewalks, shopping plazas, subways, and parking lots, the trip can take on a whole other dimension of difficulty.

Pedestrians can face many of the dangers that motorists encounter due to winter weather conditions, but without the protection that a heavy vehicle provides when an accident occurs. When pedestrian accidents occur under some of these circumstances, victims can suffer head trauma, broken bones, lacerations, or internal injuries that could be overlooked under the assumption that the accident was “minor.”

Why are winter weather pedestrian accidents dangerous?
  • Blacktop surfaces can easily disguise ice, making slippery sections virtually invisible to pedestrians walking along.
  • Due to rapidly freezing and thawing weather conditions, slush can develop, creating slick conditions on walkways.
  • In parking lots, pedestrians and moving vehicles must navigate through the same surface and weather conditions simultaneously. Snow can reduce motorist visibility. Pedestrians trying to avoid dangerous sections on the lot may walk into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Vehicles can slide off of the road in a split-second, colliding with unsuspecting pedestrians walking on nearby sidewalks.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians

When you're traversing city sidewalks in Maryland, you can take simple steps to stay safe:

  • Allow extra time in your day for traveling by foot. You may need to walk slower than usual, or you may need to change your route if a sidewalk is blocked by piled snow or icy conditions.
  • Stay vigilant! Take the time to look around you every few seconds to observe if other pedestrians or motor vehicles are coming near you and potentially could cause an accident.

To find out more information about pedestrian accidents and victim rights, please contact our Montgomery County law offices today. We may be able to provide you with just the answers you need.

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