The end of daylight savings time over the weekend can lead to an increased risk of Chicago pedestrian accidents and other traffic accidents during the afternoon commute, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
While Chicago car accidents are always a concern during the morning and afternoon commute, it is the often serious or fatal injuries caused by pedestrian accidents that has safety advocates most concerned as the clocks go back an hour and darkness comes to the evening commute.
Last year, 4,092 pedestrians were killed and more than 59,000 were injured. The government reports that 25 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occur between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. Another 13 percent occur in the hours around dawn. As drivers get used to once again commuting home in the dark, there may be an increased chance of distraction and a greater risk of involvement in all types of traffic accidents, including pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Motorists are being urged to use extra caution and pedestrians are encouraged to carry flashlights and use reflective tape or other visible gear.
Other safety tips for motorists and pedestrians include:
MOTORISTS -Slow down. Less light means a greater reaction time is necessary to see a pedestrian in your path.
-Remember pedestrians may not hear your approach, especially if wearing hats or earmuffs.
-Keep windows and mirrors clean. Make sure defrosters and windshield wipers are in good working order and make sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled and working properly.
PEDESTRIANS -Carry a flashlight and/or use reflective tape to make yourself more visible.
-Don’t rely on traffic lights or signals to keep you safe. Make sure the path is clear before proceeding.
-Don’t jaywalk or cross the street between parked cars –use crosswalks whenever possible.
-Walk on the sidewalk.
-Walk facing traffic.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes offer confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer.