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Pedestrian Injuries Set to Increase This Rainy Season

When you are out walking during the rainy Vancouver months, it pays to take extra precautions. The darker days of fall and winter hold more dangers for pedestrians than the summer months, and the levels of pedestrian injuries rise consistently during this time. According to a report in The Province newspaper, “an average of 55 pedestrians are killed every year [in B.C.], with 33 deaths this year to date. Between 2009 to 2013, about 1,700 pedestrians are injured in crashes in the Lower Mainland, with 33 people killed.”
Although the roads are slicker and visibility is lessened during Vancouver’s rainy season, drivers and pedestrians can work together to be better prepared to avoid potential accidents by being aware of these four factors:

Visibility

Visibility is a consistent issue during the Fall and Winter months in Vancouver when it gets wetter, darker, and full of precipitation. The combination means that roads are slicker, visibility distance decreases for everyone, and pedestrians are harder to see as the sunlit hours wane. As you can imagine, this does not set the stage for very good walking conditions, and the chances of pedestrian injury through driving accidents can quickly increase, in some cases by as much as 76%. Pedestrians should be aware of the increased danger that comes with the weather changes, and drivers should respond by driving more slowly and carefully.

Pedestrian Assumptions

A little right-of-way can be a dangerous thing. A large portion of accidents occur when the pedestrian has the right to cross the road first. This leads to carelessness and dangerous assumptions among walkers – mostly, the assumption that oncoming cars will stop, no matter what. This isn’t true: Cars may not be able to see pedestrians in rainy seasons, or they may not know (or ignore) the right-of-way rules. Unfamiliar travelers may not see stop signs or other indications, either. Pedestrians should always watch carefully for oncoming cars, even if they have the right to walk first.

Poor Clothing Choices

Winter may be the time when darker colors are fashionable, but this doesn’t do much to increase safety on the roads. Dark clothing only worsens the effects of poor visibility and darker days, making it easy for cars to miss walking pedestrians until it’s too late. The solution may not be fashionable, but it is sensible: When walking in the dark, always wear some type of bright or reflective clothing that will make it easy for cars to see you. Keep a bright coat handy that you can slip on when necessary.

The Holidays

The rainy seasons tend to coincide with a lot of festivities, too – and that often means a higher number of tipsy or drunk drivers on the road. This is a good reason to take extra precautions when walking out around the holidays. A driver who has had a little too much cheer is even less likely to notice pedestrians on the road and the likelihood of accidents increases.

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