In discussing the issue of daylight savings time, a University of Washington professor who studies the subject indicated that, “Darkness kills and sunlight saves lives.”
According to Time Magazine, this concept is the crux of an argument that daylight savings time, which allows for daylight well into the evening, should not be ended but should be carried through during the entire year.
Although there are arguments for not changing the clocks, the fact is that daylight savings time does currently end in November and the clocks have recently been changed. A personal injury lawyer knows this is a time of year when there is a greater risk of accidents on the road as a result of the fact that it now gets darker sooner. Drivers need to be aware of the impact that daylight savings time has on road safety and should adjust their driving behavior to ensure they are making safe choices.
Why Daylight Savings Time Can Be Dangerous
It is unquestionably clear that the roads are safer when it is brighter out because drivers can see pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicycle riders and other vehicles more clearly. When it is dark, it is much harder to identify others on the road. This is especially dangerous for pedestrians and bike riders since they don’t have bright lights to alert motorists to their presence.
When daylight savings time ends, there is an extra hour of sun in the morning, but it gets dark earlier. Those who believe daylight savings time should be in effect perpetually throughout the year argue that there are more people out at 5 p.m. than there are out at 7 a.m. Since most people are awake in the afternoon, it would be better for it to be brighter at this time and darker in the morning.
There is evidence that supports this argument. A study conducted in 2004 indicated 170 pedestrian deaths and 200 deaths of motor vehicle occupants could be prevented if daylight savings time did not end, but stayed in effect throughout the year.
Reduced visibility is especially a problem because the clocks suddenly change on a Sunday and drivers are expected to adjust immediately by the time they go to work the next day. People don’t adjust that quickly in reality, and as a result, many drivers will drive too fast and operate their vehicles as if it was light out on their commute home, even though it’s darker.
Although these are valid concerns, there are also safety advocates who argue that it is better for the extra light to be in the morning. In particular, the National Parent Teacher Association and other child safety advocates believe it is important for it to be light when kids commute to school in the morning. The National PTA opposed proposals to shift daylight savings into March instead of April for this reason.
The fact is, no matter when it gets dark, drivers need to be aware that it is more dangerous to be on the roads when it is not light out. If drivers slow down and pay careful attention to pedestrians, hopefully fewer collisions will occur now that the clocks have changed.
Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.