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5 tips for pedestrians to remember during the winter

The winter season in Rockford presents specific risks to the people who walk around town. If you are a pedestrian, you must ensure that you are taking steps to shore up your safety. Of course, motorists still need to do their part.

Remember, the same safety rules that apply the rest of the year do still apply when there is snow or ice on the ground. This includes using the crosswalks that are found around town. You also need to remember these tips:

  • Wear the right shoes. You shouldn't wear heels or slick-soled shoes if you are going to have to walk outside. If you do need to wear these, carry them with you in a bag that goes over your shoulder so you can change when you get into the building.
  • Take your time. Rushing on ice and snow isn't going to end well. This is especially true if you are walking before the sidewalks and paths have been shoveled or salted.
  • Walk on the sidewalks and try not to walk too close to the road. There is a chance that you could slip into the street if you fall. This could put you directly in a vehicle's path.
  • Watch traffic. The roads might be slippery, which can make it difficult for vehicles to stop. You shouldn't assume that any driver will stop at a crosswalk unless it is clear that they are going to be able to fully stop their vehicle.
  • Use short steps when you walk. This helps to improve your stability. As you walk, be prepared for a fall by keeping your hands out of your pocket so you can use them for balance. Remember not to outstretch your arms to brace a fall as this can lead to wrist injuries. Instead, try to fall so that your thigh, hip and then shoulder hit the ground.

If you are struck by a car as you're walking this winter, get medical care. There is a chance that you might have injuries that you don't realize at first, especially if you are partially numb from the cold. If the driver was in the wrong, you might opt to seek compensation for your injuries.

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