When a motor vehicle and a human body collide, the vehicle typically inflicts serious damage on the human while incurring next to no damage itself. In other words, pedestrians often bear the brunt of poor decisions made by drivers on the road.
Walking on or crossing busy roads or streets is dangerous on its own. During the cooler months, there are increased risks to pedestrians related to inclement weather and lower visibility. While you should always remain alert when walking close to motor vehicles, understanding the times that carry the highest risk can help keep you and other people in your life safer as temperatures turn cooler.
Late afternoon and early evening are the most dangerous times
Starting at around 6 p.m., the risk for a pedestrian collision or death increases substantially. According to statistics analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities during the fall and winter months increases from between 10 and 13 percent occurring from 3:00 to 5:59 in the afternoon to over 30 percent between 6:00 and 8:59 in the evening.
In other words, approximately one third of all pedestrian fatalities happen between 6 and 9 in the evening in the winter and fall months. There are multiple reasons for this increased danger. One of them is the change in light that occurs in the fall months. In the depths of winter, 6 p.m. is a relatively dark time of day. Even earlier in the fall, late afternoon and early evening hours become dark quickly. More importantly, what light there is may be dimmer during that time.
Drivers who have become accustomed to the bright lights of summer may be less alert and aware during those bleak early evening hours in the fall and winter. Pedestrians may also fail to take adequate safety precautions, which can also increase the risk of a crash. If you intend to go out for a walk near twilight hours in the fall or winter, make sure that you have reflective gear or a light that will draw the attention of nearby drivers.
Take steps to protect yourself after a pedestrian accident
There are many misconceptions about pedestrian accidents that impact how people respond to them. Educating yourself about your legal rights as a Connecticut pedestrian is a good first step. Learning about how to stay safe while walking on roads utilized by motor vehicles can also help protect you and your loved ones from a tragic collision.
If you or someone you care about is struck by a moving vehicle while walking, you should be ready to assert your rights. Legal action is often the best way to hold a negligent driver accountable for the injuries they cause when they hit pedestrians.