“Sundown? You Better Take Care”: Walking Risks Rise at Night
It’s a beautiful summer evening; you and your spouse are watching Fox 5, as you do every night, and your kids are playing games on their tablets. Suddenly, a cool breeze blows through the house and as you look toward the window, you notice the gorgeous colors of the sunset. You turn off Tony Perkins, grab the kids‘ tablets and announce that since it’s nice out, the entire family is going to go for a walk.
It’s been years since you’ve gone for a walk at dusk, so you don’t really pay attention to what everyone is wearing, and you forget to grab a flashlight. Oh, well, you’ll only be gone for a half an hour and there isn’t a lot of traffic on the roads anyway. You’ll be fine, right?
Unfortunately, you may not be as safe as you might think.Nighttime Risk Factors
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 75,000 pedestrian accidents occur in the U.S. each year; this comes to roughly one accident every 8 minutes with a fatality every two hours. Oddly enough, over 60 percent of these accidents don’t occur during heavy traffic periods, but rather at night, due to:
- Speeding cars. Incidents of speeding dramatically increase at night. Drivers speed because traffic is less congested, because they want to get home, and because fatigue makes them less agile at controlling acceleration.
- Poor driver visibility. Bright sunsets and sunrises, street lamp and store front glare, darkly clothed pedestrians, and fog or precipitation can all limit a driver’s ability to focus clearly. If seeing vehicles directly ahead is difficult, you can imagine how hard it is to watch for pedestrians in the driver’s peripheral vision or blind spots.
- Driver drowsiness. Your body is naturally accustomed to become drowsy once the sun goes down, even if you’re used to working overnight. Driving at a steady pace in the dark—without much traffic to pay attention to—can become tiring. When that tiredness kicks in your eyelids can become heavy and your attention to detail, objects, and pedestrians can drastically decrease.
- Intoxicated drivers. Evening drinks, bars and parties tend to let out between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., increasing the potential of drunk drivers causing accidents. But because drinking interferes with both vision and vehicle control, pedestrians are at increased risk from drunk drivers from sunset onward.
These common risks are only a few of the many reasons why pedestrian accidents are prevalent and extra precautions are needed during nighttime hours. However, no matter what time nor the reason, if you or a loved one has suffered an injury—minor or severe—as a result of a negligent driver, you deserve experienced representation.
Don’t let a tragic evening stroll ruin the rest of your life; contact us today to discuss your rights, possible recovery compensation and settlement options. Our vast experience in pedestrian injury law can only help you if you let it. Call us today for a free consultation and peace of mind!
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