Daylight Saving Time can lead to more pedestrian, bicycle crashes

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The sun low on the horizon over 82nd Street in Lubbock (Nexstar/Staff)

LUBBOCK, Texas — Daylight Saving Time ended Sunday morning as many Americans fell back to standard time (in Lubbock it would be Central Standard Time or CST).

That means pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers should be extra cautious now that it gets darker much sooner. Sunset on Sunday in Lubbock is listed by the National Weather Service as 5:54 pm with the sun sitting low on the horizon long before official sunset.

EverythingLubbock.com reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sgt. Johnny Bures to find out exactly how to be proactive and remain vigilant to prevent any accidents from occurring.

“We want to remind folks that if you are riding bikes and walking, make sure and look twice before you cross,” he said.

However, Bures said sometimes the pedestrians may not look.

He said usually this occurs when people are walking on campus or when people are looking down at their phones.

Another way that bicyclists should practice safety is to wear bright clothing. Bures also said it’s best if they have lighting on their bicycle as well.

“Make sure you’re practicing bike safety, lights, reflectors, riding on the right side of the way where you’re supposed to ride and any bike lanes when they’re available,” he said.

Practicing safety for drivers is also just as important.

For example, a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle traveling at 20 mph has an 18 percent risk of severe injury or death, according to statistics from AAA Texas news release.

“At a speed of 30 mph, just 10 mph faster, the risk more than doubles to 47%,” the release states.

Bures said that he just wants to remind pedestrians to be careful when cars are coming down the road.

“We’ve had people crossing the street thinking people aren’t coming as fast as they are,” he said. “We always want to emphasize looking both ways,” he said. “Take a second to judge how fast the car is coming.”

This is important during those commutes home when the commute times will be darker, according to AAA.

“Motorists should provide bicyclists with a three-foot buffer for safety and slow to a safe and reasonable speed when passing a bicyclist if they can’t keep a three-foot distance from them,” said Daniel Armbruster,” AAA Texas spokesperson.

Bures said DPS just wants to remind everyone that as it is getting darker earlier to watch out for each other.

“Make sure you’re looking for pedestrians, but pedestrians make sure you’re looking for cars, too,” he said.

AAA tips for pedestrians:

  • make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets so you know they see you
  • wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night
  • carry a flashlight when walking or taking out pets in the dark
  • walk on the sidewalk; If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

AAA Texas tips for drivers:

  • travel at times of the day when you are normally awake
  • avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment
  • don’t drive intoxicated; don’t drive intoxicated
  • watch for children and families in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections and when backing out of driveways
  • teen drivers should use extra caution

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