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After dark, the risks to pedestrians increase

The tremendous vehicular traffic in Fairfax County can be difficult for pedestrians to navigate when the sun is out. When nightfall comes, pedestrians can certainly be at risk of suffering serious injuries. Drivers are less likely to see pedestrians at night, even though some thoroughfares and expressways are well lit.

With the recent switch to standard time from daylight savings time, drivers and pedestrians must be additionally vigilant in order to be avoid being part of the statistics showing that pedestrian accidents rise when the time changes. As such, drivers should be wary of their speed at night; not only because law enforcement agencies are looking for drivers who break speed laws, but also because speeding drivers have less time to react to hazards in the road. Simply put, a driver may be able to avoid a pedestrian while driving at 35 miles per hour, but may not be able to do so at 45 miles per hour.

Also, drivers should be careful to avoid drinking and driving. Indeed, many anti-drunk driving campaigns focus on the horrific accidents that occur when two cars collide, but drivers should not forget about the carnage that occurs when a pedestrian is hit by a drunk driver.

Ultimately, drivers have a legal duty under Virginia law to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. An essential part of this duty is to watch out for pedestrians and to avoid hitting them. If a driver breaches this duty and injures a pedestrian, he or she may seek compensation against the offending driver.

Source: Turnto23.com, Leaving daylight saving time means more pedestrian accidents, Mark Christian, October 29, 2013

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Whitestone Young, PC
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