GARDEN CITY, NY (November 5, 2021) “Falling back” this weekend will lead to an increase in the number of pedestrians injured during evening commutes. In New York City, there was a ten percent increase in traffic crashes during the 5pm hour in the four weeks after the time change compared to the four weeks prior from 2016 to 2020, according to the City’s open data portal. The average number of overall daily crashes increases from 38 per day to 41. But there is a 100 percent increase in the number of crashes involving pedestrians after the time change, going from two per day to four during the 5pm hour.
“The sudden onset of darkness during the evening rush hour makes it harder to see and more dangerous overall for road users, and particularly dangerous for pedestrians,” said Robert Sinclair, Jr. of AAA Northeast. “Everyone needs to be extra alert after the time change, especially drivers and especially in areas with lots of pedestrians like schools after the time change,” Sinclair added.
On Long Island, from 2016 to 2020, there were 4,043 pedestrians injured, and 126 killed in Nassau County. Suffolk saw 2,483 injured pedestrians, 183 killed. November saw the most injuries/fatalities over the five years with a total of 758. October, November, and December are more dangerous for pedestrians on Long Island than the summer months, according to DMV data tallied by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research.
Drivers bear the largest brunt of responsibility for Long Island pedestrian crashes with failure to yield right of way as the number one reason for a pedestrian crash. Pedestrian error/confusion was number two, and driver inattention/distraction number three.
The towns of Hempstead, Islip, and Brookhaven saw the most pedestrian crashes during the five years of data examined.
AAA urges drivers to be alert, slow down and concentrate on the task of operating their vehicles safely at all times, but especially after the time change.