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Pedestrian safety as the weather changes

School is in full swing and you’ve become accustomed to seeing children walking or riding their bikes in the mornings and afternoons. You make a point to be vigilant at crosswalks and to stop whenever a school bus turns on its caution lights or extends its safety arm. You are careful to be aware of your surroundings while driving, and you are courteous and follow the rules. However, the changing season introduces hazards for you and other New York residents that you haven’t seen in a year. It’s vital for the pedestrians around you that you are aware of the risks.

The following road and weather conditions will become more prevalent in the coming weeks as summer gives way to autumn, and you feel the pre-winter chill in the air:

  • Early morning frost can fog up your windows and reduce visibility.
  • Frost and ice will make the roads more slippery.
  • Rain, mud and fallen leaves can create a slick surface to drive on.
  • The sun’s changing position can create a harsh glare at unexpected times, especially in the early afternoon.
  • Strong winds can throw falling leaves, twigs and other debris onto your windshield, reducing your visibility or frightening you as you drive.

As you can imagine, these hazards can endanger you and other drivers, but are particularly dangerous for pedestrians who are on the sidewalks nearby or crossing the street. Like every other resident, you are also a pedestrian as you go on your afternoon walks or navigate your way through the parking lot into the store. You may therefore exercise the same care when you’re walking as you do while driving.

Awareness and caution can protect you and others when you’re driving or walking, but you can’t always predict the actions of others. You may be eligible for compensation if a negligent driver injures you this autumn.

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