On Novemeber 1st, 2009 the clocks went back allowing us a well deserved extra hour of sleep. The return to Daylight Satandard Time is welcomed by many for different reasons...me, I like the sleep. But, there is a cost to a society...pedestrian collisions increase around this time of year.
Safety experts in North America recognize that starting around this time and continuing until February pedestrians are at a higher risk for being injured at the hands of motor vehicles. Those experts site the reduced afternoon daylight hours as a major cause of the increase in collisions.
Toronto Transportation data sites the time of the day most frequently to have collisions is the hour between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. That hour on the last work week day before Daylight Standard Time was daylight. On Novemebr 2nd, the next commuter day since the return will be much darker, with sunset happening at 4:45 p.m.
Pedestrians can take a few precautions to help themselves out to avoid becomming injured.
1.) Be bright about it
Wear light coloured clothing, reflective safety wear and pick appropriate spots to cross the street.
2.) Be seen
Don't walk from between parked cars or cross where there is poor lighting. Choose intersections and again, the use of light coloured clothing will help.
3.) Use your eyes before your feet
Get eye contact with drivers and cyclists. Look all directions beofre stepping into traffic flow routes and continue to look ensuring that each step can be followed safely by the next.
4.) Cross the street as if your life depends on it
Quite franklly, it does. The argument of 'right of way' is not a good one to be making from a hospital bed.
The Toronto Police Service is a proud partner with the Toronto Area Safety Coalition and together with Sunnybrook Hospital a new pedestrian safety awarness program has been launched. iNAVIGAIT has valuable information for all ages to and abilities. For more safety tips go to http://www.inavigait.com/