Winter weather can be dangerous for people who are driving, walking and biking. Icy streets and sidewalks, blinding snow and fewer daylight hours mean everyone has to be extra cautious.
We’ve got a few simple safety tips for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to follow throughout the season.
- Obey the Speed Limit – It’s important to go slow in inclement weather. Give yourself plenty of time to stop and maneuver when road conditions are poor.
- Stop for Pedestrians – During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it can be easy to rush around. But don’t speed through crosswalks when pedestrians have the right of way, you could wind up facing fines and points on your license.
- Heads Up, Phones Down – Avoid distractions. That text or email can wait. Keep your eyes on the road.
- Make Sure You Can See Clearly – Keep your vehicle’s windows and mirrors clean and always clear away snow. In New Jersey it’s illegal to drive with snow on the top of your vehicle. Snow can fall off impair another driver’s ability to see, making the roadways more dangerous for everyone.
- Drive Sober – It may be tempting to get in the driver’s seat after a holiday party, but it’s never worth the risk. Drive sober, the life you save could be your own.
- Be Extra Vigilant – Shorter days and inclement weather can make it harder to see pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.
- Drive With Care – Be cautious when passing vehicles stopped near a crosswalk or intersection. Always look for pedestrians before turning. And leave 3 feet of space when passing a cyclist.
- Use Crosswalks – Make eye contact with drivers and never cross mid-block or between parked vehicles, it makes it harder for motorists to see you. Cross from corner to corner when no crosswalks are available.
- Wait For The Walk – Sure it’s chilly out there, but don’t risk getting hit by a vehicle that doesn’t expect you to be in the crosswalk when you don’t have the right of way.
- Heads Up, Phones Down – Keep your head up so you can see where you going and stay off your phone while walking. Distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving.
- Be Visible – Shorter days mean many commuters are walking in the dark, help ensure that motorists can see you. Wear light or bright colors and reflective clothing or carry a light. When sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic.
- Make Sure You Can See Clearly – It’s tempting to wrap a scarf around your head and pull your hat down to cover your face when it’s frigid outside, but make sure you always have an unobstructed view of what’s in front of you.
- Look, Then Look Again – Wintry weather can decrease visibility. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing. Be careful when crossing driveways or alleyways.
- Walk Sober – Drinking slows your reflexes and can affect your ability to walk. Never drink so much that you can’t get home safely.
- Use Lights – Shorter days mean decreased visibility. Install a front light on your bike to help you see and install a rear light to help motorists see you.
- Heads Up, Phones Down – Keep your head up so you can see where you going and never use an electronic device while riding a bicycle.
- Make Sure You Can See Clearly – It’s important to bundle up while cycling in the winter, but make sure you always have an unobstructed view of what’s in front of you.
- Check the Weather – Avoid riding in heavy snow and ice if possible. Try to wait until roads and paths are clear enough to travel safely.
- Keep Your Distance – Ride at least a car door width away from parked cars.
- Protect Your Head – A winter hat may keep you warm, but it won’t help you if you fall. Make sure you always wear your helmet.
- Bike Sober – Avoid drinking and riding, you could hurt yourself or someone else.
- Check Your Tires – Temperature changes can affect your tire pressure. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before heading out for a ride.