Keeping Pedestrians Safe During the Last Weeks of Winter

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From 2018 to 2020, 170 people were killed in traffic accidents in Toronto, including 101 pedestrians. More than half of those pedestrian fatalities (51 per cent) occurred between November and March. In other words, and as car accident lawyers in Toronto know, winter is the most dangerous time of the year to be a pedestrian in Canada’s largest city.

Toronto Police are also aware of this issue. In January, they launched “Winter Watch,” a week-long safety blitz focused on raising road safety awareness, starting conversations, and cracking down on the ‘Big 4’ driver behaviours that cause serious traffic accidents: speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

The initiative, like all city-involved road safety programs, was enacted in support of Vision Zero, an ambitious plan aimed at eliminating traffic deaths in Toronto. The plan, which was originally launched in 2016, has made little headway in the fight against pedestrian fatalities.

How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian 

Pedestrians, along with cyclists, are considered ‘vulnerable road users,’ meaning they are most at risk from collisions. Because motorists are better protected by their vehicles, they have an inherent responsibility to be cautious of vulnerable road users.

However, as Toronto car accident lawyers know, dangerous driving is all too common in Ontario, and vulnerable road users tend to pay the biggest toll for that behaviour. While much of the onus for protecting vulnerable road users lays with motorists, there are certain things that pedestrians can do – and not do – to avoid trouble and stay safe during the remaining weeks of winter.

Avoid mid-block crossing: According to Toronto Police, 40 per cent of collisions where pedestrians were killed or seriously injured occurred while the person was crossing mid-block. Wherever possible, find a designated crosswalk before crossing the road.

Be alert at intersections: Forty-three per cent of fatal and serious collisions involving pedestrians occurred while drivers were turning at signaled intersections. Even if you have the right of way, try to make eye contact with waiting drivers before crossing.

Wear bright clothing, particularly at night: Low visibility is one of the main reasons that pedestrian fatalities increase during the winter. If you’re walking outside of daylight hours, try to be as visible as possible.

Stay alert: We already know that distracted driving is a key cause of fatal accidents in Ontario; distracted walking can also be dangerous. If you’re walking in a high-traffic area or around fast-moving vehicles, take the earbuds out, put the phone in your pocket, and be as alert and aware as possible until you reach quieter streets.

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

The car accident lawyers at Neinstein have been representing seriously injured accident victims for decades. If you or a member of your family has been involved in an accident, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team will review your case and provide the guidance and advice you need as you pursue compensation.


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Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein
pedestrian safety , road safety ,