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Pedestrian accident rate in British Columbia spikes in winter

Once drivers shift into gear, their mindset switches seamlessly to steering a big hunk of steel up and down motorways, with all due caution. When they step out of a car, even for a minute, they become, for all intents and purposes, pedestrians. Sometimes, they neglect to switch to the pedestrian mindset, which requires a different awareness of the vehicles circulating nearby. These were the circumstances in a recent incident in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where an elderly driver lost his life in what was reported as a pedestrian accident.

How many of us as drivers have been annoyed when fierce wind and rain have obstructed our path with garbage or recycling bins and the like? Driving along 9th Avenue, a senior encountered debris and found no way to detour around it or avoid it, so he exited his vehicle to clear it away. At the same moment, a driver turning left at the McBride Street intersection struck him down. He later died from his injuries.

According to current statistics compiled by the B.C. Coroners Service, pedestrian fatalities ramp up as high as 40 per cent during winter nights. This, despite as many as nine out of 10 drivers fretting over the possibility of striking a pedestrian, and eight of 10 pedestrians equally concerned that their safety is compromised in bad weather. Not all car accidents end in a fatality, but the spike in numbers speaks for itself.

The appalling irony of losing a family member in a pedestrian accident while he was driving is probably lost on the grieving family. An experienced British Columbia personal injury lawyer might be very helpful in asking questions pertinent to the specifics of this fatal incident. Consulting with a lawyer skilled in legal recourse such as wrongful death could be a way for a bereaved family to move forward.

Source: cbc.ca, "Prince Rupert pedestrian killed after getting out to clear debris", Nov. 20, 2017

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