Michael J. Gaffney Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY
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Daylight savings time can spark a rise in car accidents

In New York and across the nation, opinions will inevitably vary as to the usefulness of daylight savings time. Moving the clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall might seem like it is simply a part of life, but there are certain issues that can arise because of it. Safety on the roads is one. Legislators and law enforcement are making sure to let people know about the dangers that accompany the sudden differences that go along with moving the clocks back. For those who are in auto accidents during or right after the clocks have been changed, it is important to know what research says about crashes related to the time adjustment.

After the fall time change, there is a statistical rise in pedestrian accidents. A legitimate spike is seen in the number of overall accidents and deaths due to a reduction in visibility. This is especially worrisome in the evening hours, when people have a hard time seeing, specifically when driving. Pedestrians are at the greatest risk of being in pedestrian-auto accidents from November 1 to March 15. The sun tends to shine right into drivers' eyes, causing them problems seeing things that are directly in front of them. That can place pedestrians at risk.

Law enforcement and the Department of Transportation are actively encouraging drivers to be more vigilant. They will also concentrate on giving violations to those who drive at excessive speed and do not yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. Another issue that the city is keeping a close eye on is private sanitation companies that flout the law as they travel their routes. Teens are also a focus, as the statistics say that teen drivers who account for approximately 10 percent of all city drivers were driving in 20 percent of all fatal auto accidents in the past year.

The inherent dangers after daylight savings time go beyond that which the police and other enforcing entities are trying to warn people about. Drowsy drivers can also be a cause of car accidents, because of the disruption in sleep patterns. When there is an auto accident, there can be serious injuries regardless of whether it is a pedestrian, a bicyclist or a person in a vehicle. Those who have suffered serious injuries in car accidents may need to get more information about their legal options.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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