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Decrease in Daylight Hours Means Increased Risk of Pedestrian Injuries

Now that the clocks have been set back to end daylight saving time, it quickly gets dark by 5:00 p.m. For those who enjoy walking or rely on it as a way to get where they want to go, it is important to be aware of the increased risks at this time of year. Pedestrian accidents are more common at night than during daylight hours and there are many drivers on the road who admit their vision becomes worse after dark. Be aware of the potential dangers and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents

Daylight saving time ended on November 4, 2018, when all of us set our clocks back an hour. The days have already become shorter due to the change in season. While the time difference means it is more likely that the sun will be up when you are headed off to work or school, it also means you are likely to be in complete darkness on the way home.

People adapt to these changes quickly and it does not generally keep anyone from taking an evening walk, whether as a form of exercise or simply to enjoy local events. However, it is important to be aware of the very serious risks. According to statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), car crashes in general are more than twice as likely to occur at night  

Unfortunately, difficulties in seeing lines on the road, glare from other driver’s headlights, and general tiredness that often overtakes people when driving after dark can all combine to put pedestrians in harm’s way. Portland public safety officials have taken steps to better accommodate pedestrians at all times of the day through the Vision Zero initiative, but the fact is we still have one of the highest pedestrian accident rates in the state.

Protecting Yourself Against Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries

While law enforcement does their job to keep reckless drivers in check, it is important for Portland pedestrians to understand the potential dangers and to take the steps needed to protect themselves, particularly at night. The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers these tips:

  • Wear light, bright colored clothing;
  • Use reflective strips on your jacket or shoes;
  • Consider caring a flashlight, particularly if you are walking somewhere with no street lighting;
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in the road whenever possible;
  • Cross only at designated intersections and do not assume that a car will stop just because you have the right of way;
  • Avoid distractions, such as using earbuds or talking on your phone, which could cause you to not notice signs that a crash is imminent;
  • Do not walk if you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. Take an Uber or have a friend drive you home instead.

Let Us Help You Today

When you suffer serious and potentially disabling pedestrian injuries, we can advise you on how to hold at fault drivers responsible. To request a consultation with our Portland pedestrian accident attorney, reach out and contact the Johnston Law Firm today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.