The rate of pedestrian fatalities is increasing. From 2017 to 2018, pedestrian deaths went up by 14%. In November of 2018, there were 292 pedestrian crashes in the D.C. region – more than any other month.
According to Michael Farrell of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), this added risk can be attributed to daylight savings time, which will go into effect this Sunday, Nov. 3. Farrell stated:
“It’s the most dangerous time of the year. There are more hours of darkness and the weather is good. They [pedestrians] are more likely to get hit.”
Advice for Pedestrians
As part of the MWCOG’s new Street Smart campaign, experts recommend the following:
- If you are going for a walk, do not wear dark clothing.
- Remember that a crosswalk is not a guarantee that you’ll be seen.
Awareness for Drivers
For motorists, Street Smart will run ads on the back of buses and at gas stations, encouraging drivers to slow down and pay attention. Ads and video testimonials will also be released online to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of pedestrian accidents. Farrell sums it up:
“The more time you spend looking down at the road, the more likely you are to kill someone else or yourself. They [drivers] need to look out for other people.”
Other Threats in November
The day before Thanksgiving is known as “Blackout Wednesday,” and is one of the biggest drinking days of the year. In some places, the holiday involves more alcohol consumption than New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, and ends up being one of the top drunk-driving nights of the year.
Additionally, Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays for traveling. In 2016, 43.5 million Americans took a road trip to celebrate the gathering.
This combination of alcohol consumption and congestion on U.S. roadways proves dangerous, and sometimes fatal, for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Stay Safe in November
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we brought this article to your attention because we want you to be safe during daylight savings time and the holidays. Part of being safe is being aware of additional threats in the month of November.
We hope this blog post has brought pedestrian safety to the front of your mind.
If you are harmed in a pedestrian accident, call our firm at (202) 659-8600 or visit our Washington, DC office for a free consultation.