The Winter Season Brings Dangers for Chicago Pedestrians

November 19, 2014

Pedestrians Are Still at Risk for Car Accidents as the Weather Turns Cold

In Chicago, we often talk about spring and summer as dangerous times for car-pedestrian accidents because the pleasant weather draws so many people outside, but those risks don’t go away when the weather starts to turn cold. As sleet and snow move in and holiday celebrations get under way, those who choose to walk need to be alert to possible dangers from the vehicles that surround them.

Why Winter Is Still Risky for Pedestrians on Chicago’s Sidewalks and Roadways

Although summer may bring pedestrians out for a casual stroll or a healthier way to work in the morning, winter presents danger of its own. During the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, heavy holiday travel and bad weather can mean that both drivers and pedestrians are risk for accidents due to:

  • More drunk drivers on the road. Some drivers who wouldn’t normally drive under the influence use holiday parties and vacation time at work to make an exception—and vulnerable pedestrians can pay the price for drivers’ reckless decisions.
  • Slippery or difficult conditions. Slippery roads can make it hard for drivers to stop in time for pedestrians in a crosswalk or at an intersection, and slippery or snow-packed roads and sidewalks can make it hard for pedestrians to navigate through traffic.
  • Limited visibility. The gray and hazy days of winter in Chicago limits visibility for drivers and people on foot, meaning that everyone should be extra alert and prepared to allow for the extra time needed to arrive safely.
  • Busy shopping centers. As people rush to complete holiday shopping or simply fight the crowds to pick up a few necessities, parking lots and intersections near major shopping centers can become extremely busy—and extremely dangerous.
  • Distractions on the road. Distracted driving can be a problem any time of year, and even something as innocent as enjoying the lights and holidays displays or taking a call from a long-distance loved one while you’re behind the wheel can take your eyes and mind off the road long enough to cause an accident.


If you or a family member is hurt in an accident as a pedestrian, you could face a challenge in holding the driver’s insurance company responsible for the injuries. Be prepared to protect your rights and get help with our free guide, The 8 Steps to Follow After Your Illinois Car Accident, which explains more about what you need to know—and what you need to do—to successfully pursue a claim for accident injuries. For more information, simply contact our Chicago legal team by phone at 312-332-1400, or use the Live Chat on this page to tell us more about your concerns now.

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