A little over a week out from the end of daylight savings time, you’ve probably heard your friends, family members or coworkers utter the following:
- Why do we even have daylight savings time? I don’t see any farms around here.
- Ugh. It’s getting dark so early now. It just makes me want to sleep.
- Spent half the day adjusting clocks and still ended up late for my appointment.
These are the typical complaints and we will all be over the time change soon. Unfortunately, the misfortunes that befall some after the time change are more permanent. Studies show a rise in fatal pedestrian accidents in the days and weeks after a daylight savings-related time change.
Nothing New About This
The problem of daylight savings and traffic deaths is well known by city and state officials. It’s been reported that 30 percent of pedestrian deaths from car accidents in 2015 occurred between October and December.
Pedestrians Are Left In The Dark
Darkness and motor vehicle traffic is a dangerous combination for pedestrians. People who are walking on our streets in the dark afternoon hours are at a higher risk of being struck by drivers who are struggling to adjust to the darkness.
Falling Back Into Danger
Let’s not be too kind to drivers who strike pedestrians, regardless of extenuating circumstances like the end of daylight savings time.
Cars and trucks have headlights, streets have lamps, and the idea that it gets darker in late autumn is not a new concept. Drivers are responsible for obeying traffic laws and being aware of their surroundings. Darkness is no excuse for winding up on the sidewalk, blowing through a red light, or failing to see pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Springing Forward To Sleep Deprivation
The beginning of daylight savings time also has its perils for pedestrians. Drivers during the spring transition are often sleep deprived, leading to falling asleep behind the wheel or inattentiveness. Again, there is no excuse for this. Pedestrians are just as tired in the spring and we don’t see them walking out into the street making contact with bumpers.
Don’t Let Them Off The Hook
An important part of making these fatalities a thing of the past is holding inattentive drivers accountable for the damage they cause. At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we stand ready to act on behalf of injury survivors and the families of wrongful death victims.