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Can Turning Back the Clocks Lead to a Pedestrian Accident?

As the daylight hours grow shorter in the fall and winter months, the risk of a San Diego pedestrian crash increases. So now that we have turned the clocks back, it is important to remember to take extra precautions on the roadway.

Overall, pedestrian accidents are on the rise. In 2012, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.

Statistics also confirm that the evening hours are the most dangerous. Most fatal pedestrian crashes take place after dark, with 24 percent occurring from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 32 percent occurring from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.

Studies show that our depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision all decrease after dark. The increased risk of alcohol impairment by both drivers and pedestrians also contributes to the spike in nighttime collisions.

With this in mind, we would like to share the following safety tips from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:

For Motorists

  • Slow down. During the evening hours, you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.
  • Keep in mind that pedestrians who are wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs may not hear your vehicle as it approaches.
  • Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean. Make sure your defrosters and windshield wipers are working properly and that washer fluid is replaced as needed.

For Pedestrians

  • Carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials – such as fluorescent tape – to clothing, backpacks, purses, and briefcases.
  • Don’t depend on the traffic signal to protect you. Motorists may be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.
  • Use crosswalks. Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If you must walk on the street, face traffic.
  • When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars from the curb.
  • Do not cross the street if a car is coming and use a crosswalk if available.
  • Watch out for cars at every driveway and intersection.
  • Pay attention to what is happening on the road and avoid distractions.