NHTSA Warns of Accident Risks from Daylight Saving Time Change

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning of increased accident risks with the end of Daylight Saving Time in California. According to the agency, adjusting to new a low light environment can place drivers at a high risk of a crash as they adjust to the new conditions. 

According to the NHTSA, in 2009, there were 4,092 pedestrian accidents, and 59,000 pedestrians were injured in these accidents.  Twenty five percent of the fatalities were killed between 4pm and 8pm, and 13% were killed in accidents between 4am and 8am.  The agency is specifically pointing to risks to pedestrians, who may not be visible in the new lowlight environment.

Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys recommend the following tips for both motorists and pedestrians to stay safe:

  • Pedestrians should carry a flashlight and work to make themselves visible to motorists.
  • Wear bright clothing, or stick reflective tape on your clothes, backpacks, bags and briefcases to be visible in the lowlight conditions.
  • Expect distracted motorists.  In other words, don't depend on a motorist’s ability to see you while they're driving.
  • Avoid jaywalking.
  • Avoid crossing between parked vehicles.
  • Only cross the road on safe, designated, marked crosswalks.
  • Walk only in sidewalks.
  • If you're walking in the street, walk facing traffic.

Drivers must also take extra care to look out for pedestrians. Keep your speeds down while you adjust yourself to the new conditions.  Don't depend on a pedestrian’s ability to hear your vehicle as it approaches.  Remember that pedestrians may be wearing earmuffs, and may not be able to hear your car as it approaches.  Improve conditions for good visibility.  Keep your windshield and windows clean.



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