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Pedestrian accidents go up during daylight savings time change

We are a scant two days out from the daylight savings time change that took place this past weekend. Some New York readers may be unaware of the phenomenon that occurs during this time of year, but it is something worth keeping in mind. Studies report that more pedestrians are killed each year after the imposition of the daylight savings time change due to the increased incidences of pedestrian accidents.

The direct cause is the fact that suddenly the streets are dark at an early hour, and it is harder for people to see clearly where they are. This applies to motor vehicle drivers who often cannot readjust to worsened driving conditions brought on rapidly and without warning. The problem is even more serious for pedestrians, who are the ones exposed to most of the risk during this time of the year.

It has been reported that in New York City 40 percent of pedestrian deaths in car accidents last year occurred between October and December. This year, the city is trying to combat those statistics and hopefully able to save some pedestrians from an untimely death. The city is using signs, billboards and even television ads to alert people to the dangers that exist.

The foregoing problem is slightly different than the one that occurs in the spring in New York, where the theme is “spring forward” to indicate putting clocks forward one hour. This event creates several days of disoriented driving by persons who encounter sleep deprivation symptoms. A driver may also be more inclined to fall asleep at the wheel during these periods. The higher incidence of pedestrian accidents during these two clock-changing times of the year are warnings to people with an inclination to walk freely that we should remain vigilant to the occurrence of these accidents.  

Source: The Huffington Post, “More People Are Killed By Cars After Daylight Saving Time Change, Data Says”, Suzy Strutner, Oct. 28, 2016