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Earlier Sunsets Increase Risks for Knoxville Pedestrian Accidents

Car and pedestrian accidents in Knoxville are much more likely now that the sun sets earlier in Daylight Saving Time. With the time change, we get more evening hours, increasing the increased risks of accidents. Unfortunately, drivers’ abilities behind the wheel are hindered when it’s dark out. Even though only about a quarter of travel takes place during the evening hours, about half of all fatal accidents occur during this time. Most drivers don’t alter their driving skills after the sun sets like they should. Motorists oftentimes have a misconception of roadway dangers simply because they can’t see them. Whether you’re traveling on foot, on a bike or in a motor vehicle, you’re urged to be extra cautious on our roadways especially after dusk.

Our Knoxville car accident lawyers want you to realize that even drivers with perfect vision experience a decrease in visibility as the sun sets. The eye works harder because it has less to focus on. Many times, the eye will focus on the glare on the windshield, which can pose serious problems because a driver isn’t getting the full picture. It’s important for drivers to keep scanning their surroundings while driving at night and not to get locked on to one object.

There were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed and another 59,000 injured in traffic-related accidents in the U.S. in 2009. About a quarter of the fatalities occurred between 4 and 8 p.m., while another 13 percent happened between 4 and 8 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many drivers have a difficult time adjusting to these new low-light conditions and need to slow down to be able to effectively react to roadways dangers. The darker it is, the less time you have to react to a potential threat or a pedestrian.

Safety tips for motorists to prevent a potentially fatal accident:

-Slow down. Pedestrians are more difficult to spot when it’s dark out.

-Remember that some pedestrians wear headphones during their walk. This can make it more difficult to hear you approaching. Don’t assume they know you’re there.

-Keep your mirrors, windshield and windows clean to help maximize visibility.

-Keep your windshield wiper fluid filled to help clean windows when needed.

Safety tips for pedestrians to prevent a potentially fatal accident:

-You should either carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing to help to increase your visibility during the evening hours.

-Never depend on traffic lights or signals. Drivers can miss these devices or disregard their instruction, putting you in a dangerous situation. Travel defensively.

-Always cross the road at a crosswalk or a street corner. Never jaywalk or cross in between two parked cars.

-Always use the sidewalk when one’s available. If there’s no sidewalk, then walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car or pedestrian accident in Knoxville or Blount County, contact the personal injury attorneys at Hartsoe Law Firm. For a free appointment call 1-877-472-5657.

More Blog Entries:

Increase in Fatal Car Accidents in Tennessee includes more Fatal Pedestrian Accidents>, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, February 11, 2011

Pedestrian Accidents a Common Danger in Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, January 8, 2011

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