Nighttime driving isn't a simple task. Road hazards are more difficult to see after the sun sets. Even drivers with perfect vision experience a reduction in visibility during the night. Pedestrian accidents in Charleston, Jackson, Perryville and elsewhere throughout Southeast Missouri are a common occurrence after sun set. These crashes are even more frequent as the holiday travelers roll in.
Only about 25 percent of travel occurs during the evening hours, yet about half of all fatal accidents occur during this time. Drivers fail to alter their driving habits to accommodate the low-light environment. While the hazards still exits at night, many drivers don't see them or recognize them.
To help reduce the risks of nighttime accidents, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and our Charleston pedestrian accident attorneys are here to share some safe traveling tips to motorists and pedestrians.
From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 1,000 pedestrians killed in the state of Missouri. These accidents cost nearly $3.5 billion. Many of these accidents could have been avoided if motorists were to travel more cautiously during the evening hours.
In the United States, more than 4,000 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents in 2009. Nearly 60,000 pedestrians were injured in these types of accidents. Most of these accidents occurred from either 4 to 8 a.m. or from 4 to 8 p.m.
Drivers oftentimes have a misconception of the dangers that are present on the roadways after the sun sets. Because drivers don't see many of these hazards, they drive as though they don't exist. Oftentimes drivers overlook pedestrians on our roadways, too. It's important for motorists and pedestrians to travel safely and alertly to avoid an accident with one another.
Safe tips for drivers traveling at night:
-Slow it down. Drivers need more time to react to road hazards. With the reduced visibility, drivers also have less time to react. Slowing down will allow you with more time.
-Keep in mind that some pedestrians wear headphones while walking. Headphones, hats, earmuffs and other head wear can reduce their ability to hear your vehicle approaching.
-Keep your windows, your windshield and your mirrors clean to maximize visibility.
-Make sure your defroster is working properly and that you have enough windshield wiper fluid.
-Allow pedestrians the right-of-way.
Safe tips for pedestrians traveling at night:
-Always walk on a sidewalk when there's one available. When there's no sidewalk and you must walk along the road, do so facing oncoming traffic.
-Never rely on traffic signals or traffic lights. These devices don't always stop drivers. Walk defensively.
-Never jaywalk. Cross the road only at a crosswalk, an intersection or a street corner.
-Always walk with a flashlight or with reflective tape attached to your clothing. This will help motorists to see you.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car-pedestrian accident in Charleston, Dexter, New Madrid, Perryville or elsewhere in Southeast Missouri, contact the New Madrid Personal Injury Lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates PC for a free initial consultation. Call (573) 334-7959.
More Blog Entries:
Recent Study Should Scare Poplar Bluff Missouri Drivers Who Still Text While Driving, Southwest Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 10, 2011
AAA Focuses on Teen Car Accidents in Dexter, MO and Elsewhere, Southwest Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2011
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