Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seasonal Time Change Heralds Most Dangerous Time of the Year for Drivers and Pedestrians

The months of October, November and December are the scariest time of the year for pedestrians in Montgomery County, because pedestrian collisions typically spike by nearly 40 percent during these months. With the end of daylight saving time on November 3, fewer daylight hours only contribute to the problem. According to federal safety officials, 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen during the night time hours.

In 2007, Leggett introduced an aggressive pedestrian safety initiative that is investing millions of dollars in safety improvements that are making a difference. The County is also partnering with the Maryland State Highway Administration to address collisions on State roads (roads in the County that are numbered), which are the busiest corridors in the County.

Drivers are urged to help improve pedestrian safety and keep in mind the following:
  • Pedestrians can be nearly invisible in the dark and in bad weather.
  • Pedestrians may be unpredictable. Be aware and be prepared to stop.
  • Slow down and obey the posted speed limits.
  • Don’t drive distractedly – when in the car, focus only on driving.
  • Be patient, especially when young children, seniors or persons with disabilities are present.
Pedestrians are urged to do their part by practicing the following safety tips:
  • Cross the street at signals, marked crosswalks and intersections. Don’t step off the curb without looking left, right and then left again.
  • Remain vigilant when crossing the street.
  • Be alert for drivers who aren’t paying attention. Doing everything right – crossing with a walk signal and in the crosswalk – is not enough to guarantee safety.
  • Don’t count on drivers to see you or react in time.
  • Get off the cell phone and stop texting – don’t walk when distracted.
  • Stay visible after dark and in bad weather by wearing reflective items.
More safety information is available on the County’s website.