As we enter the fall and winter months, and the end of Daylight Saving Time on November 7, the fewer daylight hours and earlier sunset can have an effect on pedestrian and motorist safety. While it’s of course important to be attentive drivers and pedestrians all year-long, it’s also a good idea to remind yourself of how these darker seasonal days can contribute to pedestrian accident risk:
- Motorists have a harder time seeing pedestrians
- Pedestrians may misjudge the distance and speed of a motor vehicle traveling toward them
- An earlier sunset may place the sun right at eye level on your commute home or evening errands
- Motorists may feel sleepy on their evening commute because of the lower light
There are steps we all can take to prevent the autumn and winter pedestrian accidents caused by low light.
Tips for motorists:
- Don’t speed. Speeding makes it more difficult to see pedestrians nearby, and means it will take longer to slow down and come to a complete stop.
- Be alert and attentive. Texting, using a phone, arguing, reading, and all other types of distraction occupy your hands, eyes, and mind long enough to lead to a serious pedestrian accident.
- Replace your windshield wipers if they are old and worn. Make sure you have a full tank of window washer fluid. Keeping your window clear will help you see pedestrians even in the dusk or dark.
Tips for pedestrians:
- Wear a brightly colored article of clothing if you will be using sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Wearing headphones can drown out or dampen the sound of nearby vehicles and bicycles.
- Stay alert and pay attention. Don’t text or engage in other distracting behaviors when you are near roadways.
- Don’t expect motorists to see you. Especially in low light, it’s easy for motorists to overlook a person near or crossing a road.
With a little care and caution, we can prevent tragedies. After all, most of us drive and walk in shared areas, and it benefits everyone to stay aware of their surroundings.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a crash in Columbia or the surrounding region of Missouri, please call the experienced accident lawyers at Holder Susan Slusher LLC for a complimentary consultation, at 573-499-1700.