Daylight Saving Time Brings More Nighttime Driving
November 19, 2019
Turning the clocks back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time helps us enjoy brighter mornings, but the earlier and longer evenings increase the risk of nighttime driving accidents. The National Safety Council reports that fatal car accidents occur three times more at night than during the day. As our internal clocks work to adjust to the change in daylight hours, the risk of car accidents increases dramatically this time of year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that an estimated 100,000 car accidents each year are caused by drowsy driving, which increases with the extended darkness during the fall and winter months. Almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involving school-aged children happen during dusk and nighttime hours. Children walking home from school after extracurricular activities, bicyclists coming home from work, and those out for an early evening stroll are more likely to be struck and killed by a car as the sun sets.
Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians
Prevention is the key to staying safe during the long hours of darkness during autumn and winter. The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued the following advice for drivers and pedestrians.
Tips for Drivers
- Headlights: Routinely inspect and repair headlamps, turn signal lights, rear lights, and emergency flashers to ensure vehicles are visible to other drivers and pedestrians. Turn off high beams when there is oncoming traffic.
- Rear View and Side Mirrors: Make sure these mirrors are free from cracks or debris so they provide a clear look at what is surrounding the car. Use the night setting on the internal rear-view mirror to decrease glare.
- Avoid Drowsy Driving: If you are fatigued or drowsy after a long day at work or school, delay your journey home until you had time to rest and refresh. Drowsy driving results in slowed reaction times and a lack of focus. The risk of falling asleep behind the wheel increases when driving in the dark.
- Avoid Distracted Driving: Distracted drivers cause more serious and fatal car accidents than drunk drivers. Put the phone down and concentrate on the road in front.
- Passenger Drop Offs: Ensure that children and other passengers exiting the vehicle look in all directions before opening the door and getting out of the car. When possible, have passengers exit the vehicle through the curb side door.
- Be Alert: Nighttime driving decreases our range of vision, so it is always imperative to remain alert while driving. Keep a close eye out for pedestrians, motorcycles, bicyclists, and deer that may be hard to see at night.
Tips for Pedestrians:
- Wear bright colored clothing and reflective vests or tape to ensure you are visible to drivers.
- Cross intersections and streets using crosswalks.
- Walk on the sidewalk or ride in a designated bike lane facing traffic.
- Utilize stop lights and brightly lit intersections.
- Carry a flashlight to avoid slip and falls.
- Be sure to prepare for night journeys ahead of time and avoid traveling in inclement weather when visibility is low.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Represent Victims Injured in Nighttime Car Accidents
If you are injured in a car accident, call the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP at 800-222-8792 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.