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Daylight Time Change May Impact Pedestrian Accident Rates

As daylight savings time changes go into effect and clocks are brought one hour forward, a new study finds that there may be some benefits to pedestrians  and bicyclists as accidents involving these road users  are reduced after the change. The same benefits, however, do not extend to motorists.

The effect of daylight savings time change has been analyzed by traffic safety experts several times in the past.  In  this most recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers analyzed traffic accident data from between 2010 and 2019.  They further divided these accidents based on the hours around the time change – between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – and further divided these accidents based on whether these involved motorists or pedestrians and bicyclists.

The data found that the overall net effect of the time change was minimal, regardless of whether the accident involved pedestrians and bicyclists or occupants of a passenger vehicle.  However, about 5 weeks after the fall time change went into effect, they found that there was an increase in the number of car accidents involving bicyclists and a drop in the number of auto accidents involving motorists.  Conversely,  when they analyzed the data from about 5 weeks after the spring time change went into effect, they found an increase in the number of auto accidents involving motorists and a drop in the number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

Daylight savings time change can mean an increased number of drowsy motorists on the road, and that can directly impact the rate of car accidents. The change could also mean a larger number of motorists who are not prepared for the change, and find themselves having to drive at high speeds or drive rashly to get to their destination.  In the case of bicyclists and pedestrians, the biggest auto accident factor seems to be lowered visibility and lighting in the hours surrounding the change.

This data finds that pedestrian- related car accident numbers increase around daylight savings time change, depending on light and visibility.  While  most pedestrian accidents do occur during daylight hours, most pedestrian  accident wrongful deaths  occur  at night. Motorists must rearrange  sleep schedules in order to make sure that they are not missing out on an hour of sleep once the change goes into effect, in order to protect not only themselves, but also vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists during these critical times.

The  Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an auto accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.  You  may qualify for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk  to a lawyer at our firm, and discuss your case.  Initial  consultations are free.

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