As more people turn to walking and bicycling to get some fresh air and exercise, it is essential for motorists to share roads safely with bicyclists and pedestrians. However, while nighttime motorists deaths have decreased in recent years, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities are on the rise. Why are walkers and cyclists at risk after dark?
Dim and dark conditions limit visibility.
The Governors Highway Safety Association found that around four out of every five pedestrian fatalities occur at night, dawn or dusk. Dim or dark lighting conditions can make it difficult for pedestrians to have enough warning of hazards, and limited depth perception prevents drivers from stopping a safe distance from pedestrians.
Evening alcohol consumption can put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk.
Walking or bicycling home may seem like the safest way to end an evening out with friends, but drinking can put you at serious risk. Delayed reaction times can make it difficult to avoid hazards caused by irresponsible drivers, and drunk drivers can put you at even more risk. Alcohol factors into nearly half of pedestrian accidents.
You can take precautions to protect yourself from nighttime accidents.
There are a variety of precautions that you can take to limit the risks of cycling or walking after dark. Avoiding headphones or alcohol consumption can help you stay aware of your surroundings, and wearing reflective clothing or lights can help make you more visible.
Unfortunately, taking precautions cannot prevent all accidents, and because pedestrians and bicyclists are relatively unprotected these accidents can be devastating. If a nighttime accident harmed you or a loved one, speak to an attorney about your options. By taking legal action, you could get the financial support you need to recover from your injuries.