Our Fort Myers pedestrian accident attorneys remind motorists that with the clocks going back an hour comes an increased risk of traffic accidents during the late afternoon, particularly those involving pedestrians.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 4,092 pedestrians were killed last year and 59,000 were injured. Florida is one of the deadliest states in the nation for pedestrian accidents, second only to California.
With the clocks going back an hour, dusk will fall during the afternoon rush hour. The additional traffic that comes with the return of winter residents and tourist season will only exacerbate the problem. While there is also an increased danger of car accidents with an earlier dusk, it is the high risk of serious or fatal injuries that come with pedestrian accidents that has authorities most concerned.
The government reports adjustment to the lower-light takes time and drivers may also be more distracted. Pedestrians are encouraged to carry flashlights and/or wear reflective tape to ensure they are visible to drivers at the greatest possible distance.
Nationwide, 25 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occur between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. while another 13 percent happen around sunrise.
Other advice to reduce the risk of car accidents and pedestrian accidents at sunrise and sunset:
Motorists -Slow down. Dusk requires more time to see and react.
-Keep in mind pedestrians may not hear you approach.
-Keep your windshield and mirrors clear. Make sure your windshield fluid is full and that wipers and defrosters are in good working order.
Pedestrians -Carry a flashlight and wear reflective material.
-Don’t depend on traffic signals to protect you.
-Avoid jaywalking or crossing the street between parked cars.
-Use sidewalks whenever possible.
-Walk facing traffic.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm dedicated to representing accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.