Winter walking safety tips, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- If the sidewalks and walkways are impassable and you have to walk in the street, walk against traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
- Proper gear is a must but wearing dark “winter” colors can make it difficult for motorists to see you. Wear a brightly-colored scarf or hat or reflective gear, especially if you have to walk in the street. Don’t forget gloves and footgear with non-slip soles.
- Snow that has accumulated into drifts can muffle the sounds of approaching motor vehicles. Hats and scarves that cover your ears can muffle or even block these sounds. Keep warm, but dress so that you can hear what’s going on around you.
- If you can, shop before the storm hits. If you must shop, don’t buy more than you can easily carry. Remember — the sidewalks and streets are slippery and carrying heavy packages can impair your balance.
- When traveling with babies or small children, make sure they are dressed in brightly-colored or reflective clothing.
- If you have to push a stroller or walk in the street, the child should be in front of you and as close to the curb as possible.
- Snow and ice may keep motorists from stopping at traffic signals or slowing down for pedestrians. Before you step off of the curb into the street, make sure that any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop.
- Bending your knees a little and taking slower steps can greatly reduce your chances of falling.