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Daylight Savings Time Increasing Risks for Car and Pedestrian Accidents

December 31, 1969

Get those pajamas out -- we get an extra hour of sleep!

On November 4th, we're ending Daylight Savings Time and we're turning our clocks back from 2:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Unfortunately, we're also getting increased risks of car accidents. You see, the sun will be setting earlier, and with early dark comes more traffic accidents.

Consider yourself warned!
Our Orange County car accident lawyers understand that nighttime car accidents are so common because drivers don't see roadway dangers. When they don't see them, they drive like they're not there. An estimated 90 percent of all driver decisions are made based on what we see. You've also got to deal with the glare of oncoming headlights and the shift from lighted to dark areas. It's like an obstacle course for your eyes out there. That's why, during this time, drivers need to take extra precaution to avoid an accident.

Drivers are also asked to be extra careful in watching for pedestrians and bicyclists, too. In 2009, there were more than 4,090 pedestrians killed and another 60,000 injured in traffic accidents. Of these accidents, about a quarter of them happened between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Another 15 percent of them happened between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Safe Nighttime Driving Tips:

-Slow down. When it's dark out, you need more time to see pedestrians, bicyclists and road hazards in your pathway.

-Remember that pedestrians might be wearing headphones. They might not hear your vehicle coming.

-Keep your windows clean, both inside and out.

-Make sure the lights on your car and your blinkers are clean.

-Keep your dashboard lights low. Since the contrast between bright and dark will impede your vision, limiting the brightness in your car should help you see better at night.

-Can the distractions. You need your full attention on your surroundings when driving in the dark. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind on driving.

-Never drink and drive. Alcohol only impairs your driving ability and slows down your reaction time. You need all the safest you can get when driving in these low-light conditions.

-Have your eyes checked. Make sure you're not in need of, or an upgrade, of your glasses or contacts.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and other travelers should be careful out there, too! Make sure you travel with a flashlight. It's also a good idea for you to make sure there's reflective or florescent tape on your clothing. This will help passing drivers to see you. Don't rely on traffic control devices. Drivers run red lights, they turn when they're not supposed to and they drive where they're not allowed to. Make sure you always look for yourself before walking (or biking) across the street or making any moves near traffic.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact HOWARD LAW PC for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-872-5925 today!

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