Dangers of Less Daylight: Tips for Driving, Biking and Walking

The end of daylight saving time on Sunday, Nov. 7, and the coming winter, mean less daylight and a reminder to use caution while driving, biking and walking on city streets.

A 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that three-quarters of all pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark. A 2018 study by AAA Mid-Atlantic found that crashes in the Washington metropolitan area involving pedestrians on roads and walking paths peaked in October (284), November (292) and December (288).

AAA provides the following safety tips for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Tips for Drivers:

  • Slow down.
  • Turn on headlights for increased visibility during early morning and evening hours.
  • Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
  • Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists:

  • Cross only at intersections. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear.
  • Cross at the corner – not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
  • If you must walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
  • Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step into the street.
  • Avoid listening to music or listen at a low volume so you can hear motor vehicles approaching.
  • Bicycle lights are a must-have item for safe night riding, especially during the winter months when it gets dark earlier.

Find more pedestrian safety tips at bit.ly/BeStreetWise.

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