Help curb this epidemic by driving slowly, driving defensively and staying alert behind the wheel.
Driving slowly can increase your reaction time and help save a pedestrian’s life. The faster you drive, the higher risk of them becoming critically injured and not surviving. Watching your speed is especially crucial during school zones and Halloween night where there will be plenty of children darting across roads.
Driving at night and during inclement weather can make visibility problematic. As a motorist there are a few techniques, you can do to make yourself visible during this time of year. Use your headlights to alert other drivers and pedestrians of your presence. Make sure your headlights are properly aligned as misaligned headlines can be hazardous. Keep your car windshield and mirrors clean and streak-free to help you see better. Streaks and dirt on your windshield or mirror may not appear during the day but at night they can be more visible and cause glare. When driving, you can also wear bright clothing or reflective gear to help others see you.
Daylight Saving Time
In fall, daylight saving time ends with the clocks turning back one hour. While most of us cherish the extra hour of sleep, the downside of this time change is the effect it has on driving. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), there is an increase in the average number of collisions during the late afternoon commute in the two weeks after daylight saving time, compared to the two weeks before daylight saving time.
Drowsy driving is dangerous and can lead to serious and fatal auto collisions. Make sure you are awake and alert behind the wheel. If you feel yourself starting to nod off, pull over safely and have a power nap in your vehicle to recharge. Stop to grab a cup of coffee or stand outside for a few minutes and stretch your body to re-focus. If there is someone else in the vehicle with you, you can take turns driving.
What Pedestrians Can Do
Pedestrians can also help curb this epidemic and prevent injuries from happening by:
- Not being a “distracted walker.” Avoid looking down at your phone or listening to music loudly.
- Pay attention and look for vehicles on the road before crossing.
- Cross streets at crosswalks.
- Make sure oncoming vehicles come to a full stop and see you before crossing.
- Be visible at night by wearing bright or reflective clothing.