(COLO) – Drivers aren’t the only ones at greater risk on the roads in winter. Pedestrians are injured in winter crashes too. Over the last three years (2019-2021), Colorado State Patrol data revealed that December (17%) averaged the highest number of pedestrian-caused crashes than any other month of the year.
“When pedestrians aren’t following rules designed to protect them or are present on roadways that are not designed for their use, it poses a significant hazard to drivers as well as themselves,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We’re in a season of gathering with family and friends, so let’s practice safety daily to ensure the holidays are happy this year.”
In winter shortened daylight hours and blowing snow can hamper visibility for drivers. To protect pedestrians, Colorado State Patrol wants pedestrians and drivers to follow these tips.
- Remember to look both ways before stepping out into the street.
- Make yourself visible with bright or reflective clothing or a light source (cell phone/flashlight) in low light and poor weather conditions.
- Stay in Your Lane by only crossing at intersections and crosswalks. Make eye contact with drivers and ensure the vehicle is yielding to you before stepping onto the street.
- Avoid walking along rural roadways with little to no shoulders and access-controlled roads, like highways. These are not designed for pedestrians. If necessary, walk against opposing traffic.
- Avoid distractions. A vehicle going 25 mph travels 37 feet a second. Looking at your phone or changing radio stations for a few seconds can reduce your chances of stopping in time for a pedestrian.
- Slow down in snow or ice – go the speed limit in all other conditions.
- Keep your tires in good condition. Colorado’s Traction Law (when activated) requires all tires to have at least 3/16” of tread depth.
- Wear your sunglasses in winter. Glare from the sun and snow can obscure vision, especially during commuting times on foot or bike like early morning and late afternoon.
- Take extra care when backing out. Whether parked in a lot or backing out of a driveway, snow piles up and other cars can block the view.
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ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.