We enjoyed an extra hour of sleep this weekend when daylight savings time ended on Sunday at 2:00 a.m., and most of the U.S. “fell back” one hour. Unfortunately, the time change brings about an increased risk for auto accidents and pedestrian accidents. Even though this time change happens every year, many drivers have a difficult time adjusting to the new low-light and dark conditions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges drivers to be more alert, vigilant and cautious as the sun begins to set earlier during late-afternoon commutes. The hours between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. are very dangerous for our roadways because drivers are faced with high-traffic volume, as well as decreased visibility and perception and reduced reaction time and awareness. With dusk falling during the busy commute hours, drivers are more likely to become careless and drowsy. It is not surprising that darkness is one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents and car accidents, as well as trucking accidents.

Pedestrians are at serious risk during this time because they are more difficult to see and often overlooked during the twilight and evening hours. CNN reported that pedestrians are three times more likely to be struck and seriously injured by a car at dusk. For this reason, pedestrians should be proactive and take precautionary measures to be more visible to motorists.

Decrease your risk of becoming involved in a serious accident with the following safety tips:

  • Prepare your vehicle for night-time driving conditions and clean your headlights, taillights, mirrors and windows to increase visibility.
  • Check to make sure your vehicle headlights are adjusted properly.
  • Decrease your speed and leave sufficient space between the vehicles.
  • Drive defensively and remember that pedestrians or bicyclists might be wearing headphones and be unable to hear your vehicle.
  • Pay attention to the road and avoid unnecessary distractions (like phones, texts, and social media).
  • Be mindful of driveways, intersections, sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should carry a light or wear reflective clothing.

If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian car accident, contact the Capaz Law Firm to speak with an experienced Tampa accident lawyer.