Motorists are being warned to become more alert as we prepare for the clocks to go back on Sunday 28th October as British Summer Time comes to an end.
According to national statistics from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), each year there is a sharp increase in the number of road traffic accidents immediately following the clock change.
Dan Thompson, personal injury solicitor at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP, stated, “It’s no coincidence that the amount of accidents increases as the clocks go back. While one of our first thoughts is about the extra hour of sleep we gain, we should be thinking about the effect it will have on our journeys, particularly in the evenings. Our normal routine of travelling home from work becomes more dangerous as we adjust to the surroundings of driving in the dark, and the approaching winter months means it is often windy with heavy rain, not only resulting in more treacherous conditions to drive in, but there will also be more cars on the road as we swap from walking or cycling during the summer months to driving.”
Dan is able to advise not just from official statistics, but from his own experience! “I know only too well how important it is to take extra care whilst getting used to the darker evenings after having my own accident the day after the clocks went back. Luckily it was only my car that was damaged and not myself, or the lamp post that I happened to drive into! But that showed me how easy it is to have an accident at this time of year, and the importance to be particularly alert so as not to cause yourself, or anyone else, any injury.”
It’s not just those of us in cars that need to be extra vigilant. RoSPA statistics show that in 2011 pedestrian fatalities rose from 25 in September, to 34 in October, 48 in November and 65 in December, and so pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists are advised to wear bright-coloured or fluorescent clothing in a bid reduce the number of these incidents and fatalities.
Dan concludes, “However we travel to and from work, we will all be affected by the clocks going back, and there are measures motorists in particular can, and must, take to ensure we keep road traffic accidents to a minimum. Motorists must ensure their car is ready for the journey, including having clean windows and lights, and checking their tyre pressure. They must also be personally prepared for any eventuality should they have an accident or break down, including having a fully charged mobile phone…which you should never use whilst driving!”
If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident, please call Dan Thompson or the Injury Team at Warner Goodman LLP on 0800 919230, or visit their website www.warnergoodman.co.uk.