The end of Daylight Saving Time means that many residents of New York will be making their evening commute in the dark. The diminished visibility puts both drivers and pedestrians at a higher risk for injury. Pedestrians are especially in danger in the early stages when they are trying to adjust to distractions like the glare from headlights and streetlamps.
This comes at a time when some states are seeing a jump in pedestrian fatalities. California, for example, saw 74 deaths in 2015 but 134 in 2017. The Governors Highway Safety Association even stated in a preliminary report that L.A. County has the most pedestrian deaths in the nation.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. has admitted more than 800 pedestrians since the beginning of 2017 according to its trauma database. Every day, one or two pedestrians are admitted to the medical center with bone fractures or serious head or internal organ injuries after being hit by a vehicle.
Though California residents have voted on the proposition to create a permanent, year-round Daylight Saving Time, some experts are skeptical about the potential results. The rise in injuries and fatalities may simply be due to increased population, increased use of public transportation and a rise in driver and pedestrian distractions. Permanent Daylight Saving Time will also lead to darker mornings, putting children on the way to school at risk.
When drivers become negligent in the nighttime and cause car accidents, they will be to blame. This means victims may file a personal injury claim against that driver's auto insurance company and strive for damages that cover their medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages and other losses. A lawyer may assist with the filing and negotiate for the settlement. A lawyer might also prepare for litigation if a settlement cannot be agreed upon.