As the seasons change, you will see a lot of information regarding tasks you need to do to transition to winter. Houses need winterization and holiday preparation is quickly approaching. However, many people do not realize that the fall has become the most dangerous season for pedestrians. As we head into cooler months, there are more people walking outside; kids are going to school, commuters are taking advantage of the crisp cool weather and people are getting their exercise outside while they still can before winter sets in. More people out walking and shorter daylight hours have led to an increase in seasonal accidents, accidents that can be prevented.
New Jersey is one of the most dangerous states in the country when it comes to pedestrian fatalities. In fact, the state has the fifth highest total fatalities every year, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In a region where pedestrian travel is frequent and appealing, it is extra important to keep safety in mind throughout the year, and to follow safety prevention tips during the fall months to try to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
Why fall is dangerous
One reason for a rise in pedestrian accidents in the fall is the daylight hours. As the days get shorter, more driving is done in the dark or dusk when people are on their way home from work or school. Transitioning from longer days to shorter days leaves people less adapt to the darker conditions and reduced visibility.
Additionally, the fall season can accompany increased productivity and correlating stress as school intensifies, workers rush to meet end of year figures and the holiday rush bears down upon people. This can also lead to inattentiveness or distracted driving, which is a serious danger for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Tips to stay safe
You already know the first tip for preventing accidents. Pay attention when you drive! Distractions are numerous and easy to encounter, so maintaining focus is the first step. Be particularly vigilant in early morning and evening hours when visibility may be impaired and there is more foot traffic with people going to and from their homes.
For pedestrians, wear bright colors or reflective gear, especially when walking in low light conditions. It is also important to check traffic before crossing roads, make eye contact with drivers and use sidewalks and marked walkways or crosswalks to help prevent accidents. In addition, many people may not realize that pedestrian accidents are also caused by inattentive walkers. Paying attention to the phone or even getting lost in your head as you walk are risk factors. In order to make the sidewalks and roadways safer this season, pay extra attention to traffic as a pedestrian or a driver.