Daylight savings time recently ended and most of the United States “fell back” one hour. Unfortunately, the time change brings about an increased risk for automobile and pedestrian accidents according to statistics found by our Miami personal injury attorneys. Many drivers have a hard time adjusting to this annual time change, which brings new low light and dark conditions in the evening hours.
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions drivers to be more alert and use extra caution as the sun sets earlier during evening commutes. The hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. are extremely dangerous once daylight savings time ends because drivers are faced with at times heavy traffic, along with decreased visibility and reduced reaction time and awareness. As dusk now falls during the busiest commute hours, drivers are more likely to become careless or drowsy. Darkness is one of the leading causes of pedestrian and automobile accidents, making it no surprise that the time change can bring about more accidents.
Pedestrians are among the most at risk during the winter months because they are difficult to see and can be overlooked in the dark evening hours. Pedestrians are reportedly about three times more likely to be hit and killed in a car accident at dusk than during the daytime hours. For this reason, pedestrians should take precautionary measures to make themselves more visible to passing motorists.
You can decrease your risk of being involved in a serious accident by following the tips below:
- Be sure your vehicle is ready for nighttime driving by cleaning the headlights, mirrors, taillights, and windows in order to increase your visibility;
- Adjust your vehicle headlights to the appropriate brightness whenever setting out in the dark;
- Drive defensively and be on the lookout for pedestrians or bicyclists that may not be highly visible during the late afternoon hours;
- Decrease your speed and provide sufficient space between vehicles;
- Eliminate all distractions, including phones, texts, and the like, and pay close attention to the road ahead;
- If you will be walking or biking during the evening hours, plan ahead and carry a light and wear reflective clothing;
- Pedestrians must avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles;
- When crossing a street, look closely left-right-left for cars approaching before stepping off the curb; and
- Watch out for cars when passing near driveways or intersections.
Drivers used to commuting in the evenings will need to adjust their schedules to ensure they can travel safely in the dim conditions. This includes making sure they are well rested and will not experience fatigue on their evening commute. Anyone injured in a car or pedestrian accident should consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
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If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in any sort of accident involving negligence, the Miami Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire. With over 130 collective years of experience representing accident victims across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence. Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights. Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Put our exceptional car accident attorneys to work on your case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.