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Stuart Kerner

Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents After the End of Daylight Saving Time

As fall continues and winter nears, most people across the U.S. roll their clocks back to mark the end of daylight saving time. Daylight saving time ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd, 2019. Not many people would think about this, but this time of the year often means a greater number of accidents involving cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

Why is this, you may wonder? It’s mainly because drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are used to the sun setting at a particular time. They may be on their way home from school or work – one day it’s light, the next day it’s dark, because it’s effectively an hour later. The problem with this is that some drivers let their guard down and don’t realize that cyclists and pedestrians will be out and about during their late afternoon travels. In addition, in a few cases, time changes interfere with a person’s natural sleep cycle, which can make one drowsy when behind the wheel.

Statistics, unfortunately, show an increase in pedestrian and cyclist accidents in the days immediately following the end of daylight saving time. Just recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the D.O.T. commissioner and NYPD officials launched NYC’s 4th annual “Dusk and Darkness” campaign to highlight the risks to cyclists and pedestrians during the fall and winter evening hours. The DoT commissioner Polly Trottenberg stressed that cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike should all be aware of the seasonal change and the potential of increased hazards on the road.

 

Tips to Reduce the Risk of an Accident

If you know you’ll be out and about after dark, maybe walking your dog, running, coming from school/work, or simply enjoying the evening, take some precautions to help ensure you remain safe:

  1. Wear brightly colored clothing. Darker colors are difficult to see, especially during dusk hours.
  2. Even better than brightly colored clothing is clothing with reflective material. Make the investment if you are likely to be out in the dark. This will help reduce the chances of a driver hitting you and becoming another statistic.
    If your children have after-school activities, and they tend to walk home afterwards, consider changing their schedule to allow them to make it home before dark. If not arrange to have them be picked up.
  3. Even though pedestrians have the right of way at a crosswalk, you should always look both left and right before crossing. Being extra diligent when the sun begins to go down will help keep you safe and avoid an accident.

Drivers also need to be more aware of the time and daylight changes. They should practice extreme caution when sharing the road with other road users and pedestrians, particularly at crosswalks. If you get into an accident because of a reckless driver, you’ll want to be represented by a local injury lawyer who specializes in auto accidents during rush hour traffic.

Even after you do your best to stay safe and be noticed, accidents can still happen. Injuries sustained from a traffic accident may produce large medical bills. You may be entitled to compensation for your bills, pain and suffering and other expenses. You will want an experienced personal injury team like the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C.on your side who can help you understand your rights and recover damages to which you are entitled.

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