While Daylight Saving Time’s “fall back” earlier this month gave us an extra hour, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says we are now in a time period of increased risks for pedestrian accidents in Pembroke Pines and elsewhere.
The NHTSA reports that there were more than 4,000 pedestrian fatalities and nearly 60,000 pedestrian injuries in 2009. About a quarter of these fatal pedestrian accidents happened between 4 and 8 p.m, and nearly 15 percent happened between 4 and 8 a.m.
Our Pembroke Pines car accident attorneys remind drivers to keep a heads-up for pedestrians on our roadways. Since night falls upon us much earlier in the evening now, pedestrians are harder to see this time of year. Adjusting to the new low-light environment can take a little while. We also ask motorists and pedestrians to curb the distractions. Everyone traveling along our roadways needs to put their full attention on the traffic around them.
Since it gets darker much earlier now, pedestrians are urged to carry a flashlight with them to help motorists to see them more easily. If you don’t want to carry a flashlight, you’re urged to wear reflective gear. Being visible to motorists may be one of the best ways to prevent an accident from dusk to dawn.
Here are some additional safety tips for motorists and pedestrians:
-Be sure to travel slowly in residential areas during the evening hours. It takes more alertness to see a pedestrian when it’s dark.
-Remember that pedestrians could be wearing headphones (although this is not a safe practice). These devices block out traffic noise and may prevent a pedestrian from hearing your vehicle approach.
-It’s a good idea to keep your mirrors, windows and windshield clean. This helps to increase visibility when it’s dark out. You should frequently check to make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is full, your wipers are in good-working condition and that your defrosters are working properly.
-You should always carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials to your clothing. Try fluorescent tape. You can adhere this tape to your clothes, purse, briefcase, bike, shoes or backpack.
-Traffic signals won’t always protect you. Unfortunately, drivers run red lights and turn when they’re supposed to yield. This could be because they’re distracted or because they haven’t fully adjusted to the darker setting. Always travel defensively.
-Never jaywalk, especially from between two parked cars. It’s best for pedestrians to cross at crosswalks or at street corners.
-Always use the sidewalk when one is available. If you have to walk along the street, do so facing oncoming traffic.
As the darkness falls upon us much sooner since we’ve set our clocks back, be sure to exercise caution on our roadways. Nighttime serves as a popular backdrop for serious accidents. Help to prevent one by driving cautiously, alertly and defensively.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car-pedestrian accident in Margate, Deerfield Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, you should be advised of your rights. Contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. Call 1-800-561-7777 today.
More Blog Entries:
Street-Side Vendors and Sign Shakers At Risk For Car Accidents in Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, November 4, 2011
End-of-Year Brings Increased Risk of Car Accidents in Hollywood, Plantation, Elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, October 21, 2011