For New Yorkers, the clocks have been set back and winter is fast approaching. Daylight savings time does much more than give New Yorkers an extra hour of sleep to enjoy on the day that the clocks are changed. Unfortunately, the early darkness in the evening means that many people are driving home in the dark on their evening commute.
Our New York car accident lawyers know that the risk of accidents at night is significantly increased. The NHTSA says that your low beam headlights only allow you to see objects that are about 160 feet ahead of you. Most drivers need around 1.5 seconds to react when they see an obstacle on the road ahead, which means that it becomes much more difficult to stop or swerve and avoid hazards after dark. The reduced visibility and increased risk of accidents mean that motorists are at greater risk of being injured or killed in crashes on their evening commute if it occurs after dark.
Pedestrians are also at significantly higher risk. And more than half of all traffic deaths in New York City are pedestrians.
Daylight Savings Time Can Make the Roads Less Safe
Researchers in Britain had the opportunity to come to some important conclusions about the impact of daylight savings time on car accident risks. According to the Coventry Telegraph, researchers looked at accident data that was collected in the three years that daylight savings time didn’t go into effect in Britain. This data was compared with information from years when the clocks were changed.
The research showed that when daylight savings time was in effect and it was brighter in the morning, there were fewer accidents in the morning rush hour but more accidents in the evening rush hour when it was starting to get dark. The reverse was true when daylight savings time did not go into effect. In the darker mornings, the number of accidents went up, but there was a decrease in the number of accidents in the lighter evening.
The correlation, however, was not exact. The increase in accidents in a dark evening rush hour was not offset by the decrease in the morning crashes. In other words, the darkness at night had a bigger impact, and thus there were more accidents overall. Because of this, the researchers estimated that a total of 527 deaths and serious car accident injuries could be avoided if the clocks were not turned back for daylight savings.
Drivers Should Look to Reduce The Risk of Evening Accidents
Daylight savings has some important benefits, including making sure that kids aren’t waiting for school buses on a dark morning. Daylight savings time is also a well-established tradition and setting the clocks back is going to continue. Drivers, therefore, need to take steps to reduce the risk of becoming injured in an accident.
Technology may prove helpful in reducing the risk of evening accidents during the darker days of winter, as Science Daily indicates that the use of swiveling or bending headlights as opposed to stationary low-beam headlights may reduce by around four percent the risk of slow-speed crashes on roads with sharp curves. On roads where the curves are shallower, this new headlight technology could also reduce the crash risk by between one and two percent.
Drivers should also remember to drive more slowly after dark and to avoid tailgating or getting too close to the vehicle in front.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a traffic accident, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for s free consultation. Call 1-877-313-7673.
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