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More darkness equals more pedestrian accidents

Along with most of the country, Ohio residents recently turned their clocks back one hour. While the initial extra hour of sleep may have been welcomed, there are negative aspects related to the end to daylight saving time that both drivers and pedestrians should consider.

Ohioans typically work until 5 or 6 p.m. With the end of daylight saving time, this means many will be leaving work when it's getting dark or already dark. It also means drivers may have difficulty seeing pedestrians and bicyclists who were previously walking or biking when it was light out.

Each year, the end of daylight saving time triggers an increase in the number of pedestrian accidents. There are, however, a number of things pedestrians and drivers can and should do to help prevent the likelihood of being involved in an accident.

For drivers, it's important to remain extra vigilant and aware while driving during darkened hours. Drivers may encounter school children walking home from extracurricular activities who may wrongly assume a driver can see them. Drivers would be wise to keep distractions while driving at minimum and to store electronic and mobile devices.

For pedestrians, it's important to wear some sort of reflective clothing or to have a light. It's also wise to avoid walking during times when traffic is heavy and along busy roads. When walking during these times cannot be avoided, pedestrians are advised to always use sidewalks or to walk against traffic and to only cross streets or highways at designated crosswalks.

Individuals injured in car and pedestrian accidents often suffer numerous and serious physical injuries such as broken bones and head and spinal injuries. These individuals typically require both immediate and ongoing medical care and treatment which can be costly and time consuming. Those impacted may choose to take legal action to recover compensation related to medical expenses, disability and lost wages. 

Source: ABC 23, "Leaving Daylight Saving Time means more pedestrian accidents," Mark Christian, Oct. 29, 2013

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