By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2022
According to figures obtained by RAA, more pedestrians are hit by vehicles in winter than in any other season.
The data showed 13% of serious and fatal crashes in winter from 2016–20 involved vehicles colliding with pedestrians, compared to 9% the rest of the year.
RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain says the figures are concerning given the time of year.
“We’d generally expect to see fewer pedestrians out and about due to the colder and wetter weather,” Mr Mountain says. “So, the fact that there are more collisions involving pedestrians in winter, highlights why both motorists and pedestrians need to watch out for each other,” he says.
The table below shows the number of casualty crashes involving pedestrians over the five-year period.
|Casualty crashes involving pedestrians (2016–20)||Minor injury||Serious injury||Fatality||Total|
Vehicle collisions with fixed objects made up 23% of casualty crashes when raining, compared to 14% in drier conditions.
RAA advises all road users to take extra care this winter, whether they’re behind the wheel or on the footpath.
“Make eye contact with drivers before stepping off the kerb, particularly at pedestrian crossings and at intersections where vehicles are turning. Drivers are reminded when turning into a road, intersection or driveway are required to give way to all pedestrians crossing” Mr Mountain says.
“It’s also critical to keep extra distance between your vehicle and those in front of you as slippery, wet roads mean it can take longer to stop than in dry conditions.”
“It’s important to remember we all play a role in keeping our roads safe no matter the season, which means motorists must always drive to the road and weather conditions.”
Tips for pedestrians this winter
1. Make sure you’re always visible to drivers – day and night. Wear bright clothing and try to avoid colours that blend into the environment around you.
2. Wear appropriate footwear, as wet weather can make pavements and roads slippery.
3. Use footpaths wherever possible. If you need to use the side of the road, walk facing oncoming traffic. This will allow you to see oncoming vehicles and vice versa, and react faster if one suddenly loses control on wet and slippery roads.
4. Avoid using your phone and headphones while walking, as these distractions can significantly reduce your ability to perceive potential hazards on the footpath, as well as traffic and other road users.