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More People Are Killed By Cars After Daylight Saving Time Change, Data Says

The change is happening November 6.

10/28/2016 04:27 pm ET
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Travelers and commuters should take extra caution on evening walks in the coming weeks. 

More pedestrians are killed by cars during daylight saving time changes than at any other time of year, according to data from experts nationwide. This year, the fall time change occurs on Nov. 6.

In New York City, 40 percent of pedestrians killed in car accidents last year were hit between October and December, when nights get dark earlier and make it harder for drivers to see people on the street, according to NY1 News. The city is using signs, billboards and TV ads this year to warn locals of the problem, as well as stepping up police enforcement during and after the daylight saving switch.

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Of course, this phenomenon isn’t only in NYC. Studies suggest it runs nationwide. 

“You do see a big jump in pedestrian fatalities and injuries in the evenings in the fall when the change back to standard time makes the evenings suddenly darker,” Michael Flannagan, an associate research professor at the University of Michigan, told The New York Times.

The “spring forward” time change can be dangerous, too. Experts theorize that sleep deprivation makes drivers more likely to hit pedestrians in the first few days after clocks jump forward.

And in fall, that “extra hour” may be equally to blame. One study concludes that drivers who stay out late the night before the time change ― especially those who spend it drinking ― contribute to higher pedestrian fatalities. 

Whatever the case, please be careful when crossing the street, and enjoy a long, happy autumn. 

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