We recently gained an hour with the switch to Daylight Saving Time, but we also gained some risks for car accidents in Boston. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents killed more than 4,000 people and injured another 59,000 in 2009. About a quarter of these fatalities occurred between 4. and 8 p.m. Nearly 15 percent of these fatalities happened between 4 and 8 a.m. That’s why the NHTSA is asking drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be more cautious because of the recent time change and how we have more hours of darkness.
Our Massachusetts pedestrian accident lawyers understand that nighttime driving is a bit more dangerous than driving when it’s light out. When you drive in the evening, your visibility is negatively affected. Typically, drivers have a more difficult time judging distance when it’s dark. The human eye needs light to see and this is why nighttime driving is one of the top causes for car accidents on our roadways. It is estimated that about 90 percent of driver decisions are made on what they’re able to see. Pedestrians are overpowered by vehicle headlights and street lamps and can be easily overlooked on our roadways in the evening.
The NHTSA offers nighttime safe-driving tips to help avoid an accident as the sun sets sooner.
Motorist safety tips:
-When it’s dark out, slow down! During the evening hours, you need more time to see traffic hazards and pedestrians.
-Remember that pedestrians can be wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs, so he or she may not be able to hear your vehicle approaching.
-It is important to make sure your defrosters work, that your windshield wiper fluid is full and your windshield wipers are working correctly.
-Always keep your vehicle’s mirrors, windows and windshield clean to help increase visibility.
Pedestrian safety tips:
-It’s a good idea to carry a flashlight with you to help motorists see you.
-If you’re not carrying a flashlight, you should attach reflective materials, like fluorescent tape, to your clothing. This reflective tape will reflect a car’s headlight beams and help a driver to see you.
-You should never depend on a traffic signal. Sometimes a driver can be distracted or may simply disregard instruction from the device. With the night falling earlier in the day, drivers may also have a hard time adjusting to the changes, which can also affect their reaction to these traffic signals.
-Never jaywalk or cross the street from between two parked cars. You want your presence to be known by drivers. Be visible and cross at crosswalks or street corners.
-Whenever a sidewalk is around, use it! This walkway keeps you separated from traffic. If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic.
Accidents are more likely to happen during the evening hours so we all just have to be a little more cautious and alert.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident or pedestrian accident in Massachusetts, call Personal Injury Lawyer Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Top 200 Most Dangerous Intersections in Massachusetts Illustrate Risks of Pedestrian Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 25, 2011
68-Year-Old Hit by Two Cars and Killed in Framingham Pedestrian Accident, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011