Hartford Motorists Can Reduce Summer Collision Risks

Throughout Hartford, New Britain, Norwich, Manchester, New Haven and surrounding areas, motorists need to be aware that the impending arrival of summer brings new driving challenges. A personal injury lawyer knows that countless serious and potentially fatal car accidents occur during the summer months. There are many factors that tend to make summer a dangerous time for motorists. skyline-from-skyscraper-1444568-m

Why is the Summer High Risk for Driving?

The Mirror summarized 10 of the big risk factors that drivers face during the summer months that increase the chances of motor vehicle accidents. These include:

  • An increase in the number of bicycle riders on the roads. Drivers often do not know how to be safe around bike riders. Drivers need to ensure they leave plenty of space around bike lanes, especially when passing bicycle riders.
  • An increase in motorcyclists on the roads. Warm weather means more bikers on motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents are most likely to cause serious injury or death to the motorcycle rider. However, a motorcycle that hits the side of a car and causes a 40 MPH change in speed has an 85 percent chance of causing death to someone in the passenger car.
  • Rain after a dry spell. If there is no rain over a period of three weeks, the risk of a fatal crash is 10 percent higher when the rain arrives. The risk of a crash is lowest when it rains steadily, rather than when it rains rarely. This is because dust, diesel and oil can start to linger on a road without rain. When it finally does rain, those substances can take days to wash away- and the road will be slick in the meantime. The first rain in a while also comes as a surprise to drivers who may have grown used to dry conditions.
  • An increase in teen motorists. There is a one in five chance a teen driver will become involved in a collision within the first six months of having a new license. More teens are driving during the break from school, so there’s thus more chance of these inexperienced motorist causing crashes.
  • An increase in child pedestrians. Kids tend to be outside playing more often in the summer, so there’s a great chance of them getting hit by a car. Around 85 percent of pedestrian deaths involve motor vehicle accidents with drivers traveling between 30 and 40 miles an hour.
  • An increase in vacationers. Tourists visiting an area often don’t know where they are going and are distracted by a GPS, map, or even sightseeing. This increases the chance these motorists will cause accidents.
  • An increase in tractors. Farmers often move equipment during the summer, and tractors sometimes ends up on busy roads.
  • An increase in vegetation. A greener world and faster growing plants means impaired visibility.
  • More mobile deer. Deer tend to move around from their breeding locations during spring and the early months of summer.
  • An increase in motor vehicle breakdowns. Drivers on the road during the heat, especially taking long road trips, have a greater chance of their car breaking down. This could be dangerous when the car is on the road.

These are just a few of many reasons why the summer is a time when you need to be especially careful to drive safely and watch out for hazards that could cause you to become involved in a collision.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury area. 

How Hartford Drivers Can Avoid Accidents While Driving in Fog

Throughout Hartford, New Britain, Norwich, Manchester, New Haven and surrounding areas, warm spring weather means that weather conditions are more likely to be foggy. Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions that drivers encounter on the road. misty-marsh-1435227-m

A personal injury lawyer knows that the risk of an auto accident is as much as doubled when the fog rolls in. Drivers need to know how to be safe behind the wheel, even in these bad weather conditions. A careless or negligent driver who makes unsafe choices when it is foggy out could be held responsible for causing a motor vehicle crash that hurts or even kills other motorists.

How to Stay Safe When Driving in Fog

Smart Motorist warns that fog is statistically the most dangerous of all weather conditions. The best thing to do is to avoid driving until the fog has lifted. If, however, you are on the road and need to get through the fog, there are a few things that you can do to try to avoid becoming involved in an accident. Drivers who encounter fog should:

  • Put on headlights, but not high beams. High beams can have an adverse impact on frontward visibility because of the reflection of the light on the fog. Although regular low light headlights can also make it a little harder to see in front of you sometimes, you still need to put them on when it is foggy out because otherwise oncoming motorist will not see your vehicle.
  • Keep your eyes trained on the right line on the road. This is called the fog line and it helps you to stay on course in your lane. Do not focus on the center line, or you could end up moving into oncoming traffic inadvertently.
  • Use fog lights, if you have them. Some European cars are equipped with rear-fog lights that can help to significantly increase the visibility of the vehicle and avoid a rear-end crash.
  • Never stop on the road. If you stop on the road, other drivers are not going to be able to see you and there’s a very strong chance of a rear-end accident. If you decide you cannot continue driving in the fog, pull completely off onto the shoulder of the road in order to avoid getting hit.
  • Slow down and stay focused on the speedometer. Driving at a slow pace for weather conditions is important to trying to reduce the dangers of fog. Some research suggests that drivers who become accustomed to the fog will begin to increase their speed when driving, sometimes without even realizing it. You need to keep an eye on how fast you are actually going.

Past research has suggested that a driver’s speed perceptions are affected by fog, prompting motorists to go too fast and increasing crash risks. A recent study published by the National Institutes of Health, however, suggests that the reality is that fog does affect speed perception but that motorists mostly tend to slow down as a result and not speed up. The discrepancy could come from the fact that past studies on fog adjusted overall contrast to simulate fog, which is more akin to driving with a foggy windshield rather than in actual real-world fog conditions.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury area. 

A Closer Look at Hartford Rear-End Accidents

Throughout New Haven, New Britain, Norwich Manchester and the Waterbury-area, motor vehicle accidents occur frequently. There are different types of motor vehicle collisions including front impact or head on crashes; side impact crashes and rear-end crashes. A rear-end accident lawyer knows that collisions in which a following vehicle strikes a lead vehicle in the rear are one of the most common collision types. whiplash_blog_image

In fact, according to the College of Engineering, around 33 percent of all U.S. car accidents are rear-end crashes. This type of collision is the most commonly occurring accident at intersections that have traffic signals, and these rear-end crashes account for 11.8 percent of deaths in multi-vehicle accidents and countless car accident injuries each year.

Because rear-end crashes are both common and dangerous, understanding the causes of these types of collisions is very important. The College of Engineering has published an in-depth study looking at some of the reasons why rear-end accidents happen.

Rear-End Accident Risk Factors 

The College of Engineering Study took a look at three primary factors that can impact the risk of becoming involved in a rear-end accident. The study looked at the impact of driver characteristics; vehicle characteristics; and road characteristics.

Many of the road characteristics that lead to crashes are fairly obvious. If the roads are wet or slippery, if visibility is reduced, or if the weather is bad, then there is more of a chance of a rear-end accident. If the road is poorly lit, the crash risk goes up. If there is a lot of traffic and drivers are forced to travel more closely together, then there is a greater chance of a rear-end accident happening.

When it comes to vehicle characteristics, however, the results are more surprising. While you might assume motorists would be more concerned about getting into a crash with a larger vehicle, it turns out that rear drivers are more likely to follow very closely behind large vehicles than they are to leave minimal following distance between themselves and a smaller lead car.  When a lead vehicle is large and it is more difficult for the rear driver to see above, around, below or through it, the rear car is more likely to follow close behind. Passenger cars, in general, leave less space between their vehicle and a light truck than between their car and another passenger car.

Finally, when it comes to driver characteristics, men were more likely than women to be the striking vehicle that hits the lead car in rear-end crashes. Older drivers were more likely to be in a vehicle that was hit from behind and younger drivers were more likely to be in the striking vehicle. Older drivers generally have slower reaction times and aren’t as quick to make decisions, especially when they have two or more choices at an intersection. Younger motorists, on the other hand, were less likely to pay attention and more likely to be aggressive.

Drivers need to understand how these risk factors affect rear-end crashes so they make safe choices to try to avoid motor vehicle accidents.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area

Connecticut Crash-Prevention Efforts Leave Room for Improvement

The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety has released its 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. Motorists in New Haven, New Britain, Norwich Manchester and the Waterbury-area should be aware of what this report says so they can make informed choices about driving risks. The report evaluates how well each of the states in the U.S. have done in terms of passing recommended safety laws designed to reduce motor vehicle accident risks.car_crash

Personal injury lawyers know that Connecticut is missing some important regulations, but that drivers can voluntarily make the choice to avoid risky driving practices and reduce auto accident risks on state roads and highways.

Connecticut Could Improve Its Traffic Safety Rules

Connecticut has passed eight out of the 15 laws that the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety recommend states have. This has earned the state a “Yellow” rating. There are three different rating levels assigned in the report. Red means that the state has a dangerous lack of effective regulations to reduce collisions. Nine states have received a rating of red. Green means that the state has made significant advancements towards implanting safety legislation that is recommended to protect the public. Ten states have a Green rating. Finally, 31 states – including Connecticut – have received a Yellow rating. Yellow means that the state has made moderately positive progress towards adopting the laws that can make road conditions safe.

The laws that Connecticut is missing include:

  • An all-rider motorcycle helmet law mandating helmets every time someone is on a motorcycle.
  • A primary enforcement law mandating rear passengers wear seat belts. Under current laws, people can be ticketed for drivers in the rear not wearing a seat belt only if there is some other reason besides the seat belt violation for pulling the driver over.
  • A law requiring that child booster seats be used until a child reaches the age of seven.
  • A six month waiting period between when a teen gets a learner’s permit and the time the teen moves to a license.
  • Better restrictions on nighttime driving for new teen drivers.
  • An open container law imposing restrictions on open bottles of alcohol.
  • A child endangerment law.

Although wearing a helmet, rear seat belts, booster seats and teen driving restrictions are not yet the law, this does not mean that motorists can’t make the smart and safe choice anyway. Parents should consider restricting their teens permission to drive at night and should make sure their teen waits a sufficient amount of time (and gets a sufficient amount of practice) before getting a license. Parents should also keep children in booster seats in cars and avoid driving drunk or engaging in any unsafe driving practices with a child in the vehicle.  Motorcycle riders should also make the choice to wear helmets when on the road.

There were 276 traffic accident fatalities in Connecticut in 2013. Perhaps if motorists make a commitment to safety and if the state moves forward with more traffic accident prevention laws, the death toll could drop in the future.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.


Exercise Equipment Can Cause Hartford Injuries

Throughout New Britain, Hartford, Norwich, Manchester and surrounding areas, people are making New Year’s resolutions. For many, the start of 2015 is a time when you can begin achieving your goals of getting into better shape and becoming more physically fit. There are many health benefits associated with starting a new exercise routine, but a personal injury lawyer knows that there are also risks as well.

Serious injuries can occur when a person begins exercising and doesn’t know how to stay safe. Sometimes, however, injuries are not the fault of the person who is working out. Injuries can occur when exercise equipment has a malfunction or defect. Injuries can also occur when gym facilities fail to live up to their duty to patrons to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe way. In situations where an exercise injury is the fault of a machine manufacturer or gym operator, victims harmed by the incident should take legal action to obtain compensation for losses.

Exercise Injuries Affect Thousands

According to NBC News, there are approximately 50,000 injuries sustained while exercising each year in the United States that are serious enough to send victims to emergency rooms.

One such incident made headlines recently because it involved a U.S. senator. The Los Angeles Times reported that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sustained an injury when a resistance band broke as he was exercising. The band struck him in the face and precipitated a fall. The senator also struck other exercise equipment when he was falling down. He was hospitalized with broken facial bones and with several broken ribs.

Exercise resistance bands breaking are one of the common causes of exercise injuries. However, the most dangerous workout equipment appears to be treadmills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 575 serious injuries suffered in 2009 when people fell off a treadmill, tripped over a treadmill or tripped while working out on a treadmill.

The number of exercise injuries has increased in recent years. The Health-I -Team reports that between 2007 and 2010, there was a 45 percent increase in the number of exercise related injuries.

This increase came at a time when there were numerous recalls of defective exercise equipment. For example, 16,700 treadmills had to be recalled in 2005 because there was a risk that users would sustain an electric shock due to problems with the machines. Another 4,600 treadmills had to be recalled in 2007 due to a risk of overheating that could prompt the treadmills to start on fire. In 2008, the company that had previously recalled the overheating machines had to recall another 20,000 treadmills. This time, the problem was that the machines would unexpectedly speed up as they were being used.

Manufacturers can be held liable for exercise-related injuries any time people are using exercise machines as directed and a defect in the product causes harm. The owners of gyms are generally responsible for injuries only if they were negligent in keeping the premises reasonably safe for their patrons.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area

Hartford Drivers Shouldn’t Rely on Car Tech to Stay Safe

Drivers in Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area need to ensure they do everything possible to ensure that they make safe choices behind the wheel. Many motorists today are purchasing vehicles that have add-on safety features or optional crash protection technologies. Motorists seek out these features because they believe that this can help them to avoid becoming involved in an accident.

Technologies can make a difference in helping to prevent car accidents. However, a personal injury lawyer knows that most tech devices in vehicles are not perfect and are prone to malfunctioning or failure. While technology is a good add-on that drivers can use as one tool to help prevent accidents, a reliance on technology can be dangerous. Motorists should never assume they can substitute automated features for their own common sense or their own extra care behind the wheel.

In-Vehicle Technologies Limited Provide Limited Accident Prevention

Some of the most common add-ons that drivers believe will help them to stop crashes include blind spot detection systems and lane-keep or lane departure warning systems. The purpose of blind spot detections systems is to help drivers become aware when something is in the area to the side of their vehicle that they cannot see. The purpose of lane departure warning systems is to prevent motorists from straying outside of the lane where their vehicle belongs.

Blind spot detection systems were available as an optional add-on in around 75 percent of cars in 2014. These systems were available as a standard feature in two percent of cars. Lane departure warning systems were available in around 50 percent of vehicles in 2014.

AOL Auto reports that AAA and MIT’s AgeLab conducted a study to assess how well these common crash prevention technologies actually performed. The results showed that the technologies have much room for improvement.

Blind spot detection systems generally did not work as well when vehicles were traveling at higher speeds. These systems also were not very good at alerting drivers to the fact that a motorcycle was beside their car. The detection systems did not identify motorcycles until 26 percent later than passenger cars. By the time the system alerted the driver to the motorcycle, the motorcycle was within 14 feet of the vehicle. Since many drivers use blind spot detection systems to aid them when they are merging onto highways or when they are changing lanes on high-speed roads, it is bad news that these systems don’t work well at high speeds.

Lane departure systems also tended to malfunction when conditions were not optimal. For example, if the pavement was worn, if the driver was in a construction zone, if the roads were wet or if the weather was bad, the lane departure system often failed to function correctly.

Many different vehicles from different car makers were tested and these problems were virtually universal. Drivers need to be aware of the shortcomings of these crash protection systems and they should remember that it is ultimately their responsibility to watch the road carefully and take steps to avoid getting into a collision.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.

Hartford DUI Prevention Focus of Public Awareness Efforts

The month of December is a great time to enjoy holiday activities throughout Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and surrounding locations. Sometimes, however, those holiday activities involve the consumption of alcohol. While having a drink or two in celebration of the festive season is not a problem, it becomes a major issue if you consume alcohol and then decide to get behind the wheel of a car.

A personal injury lawyer knows an increase in drunk driving-related fatalities occurs each year from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. December is one of the worst months for drunk driving accidents and fatalities, and it is also the time of year when numerous campaigns are launched to try to prevent these types of collisions.

Preventing December Drunk Driving Accidents and Fatalities

Prevention of drunk driving accidents in December is very important to keep the public safe. Every year in the United States, around 10,000 people are killed in collisions involving impaired drivers. According to True Car, there are also around 600,000 people who suffer injuries. Around three in 10 Americans will be personally involved in a crash involving an intoxicated motorist, and the cost of impaired driving accidents exceeds $51 billion annually within this country.

The holidays, especially the days surrounding Christmas and the days surrounding New Years, have a higher-than-normal percentage of deadly crashes caused by impaired motorists. Public education efforts aim to prevent this by reminding people of the danger of driving while under the influence.

Anti-drunk driving campaigns have been going on during the month of December since 1982, when President Ronald Reagan declared that December would be National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. In 2010, President Barack Obama changed the designation of this month to National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Part of the reason for the change was to also draw attention to the problem of driving while distracted.

Since 41 percent of crashes within the United States are related to impaired driving, public education efforts on preventing drunk driving crashes could make a big different in saving lives. As part of the public education efforts this December, advice is provided to individuals about how to reduce the chances of a crash happening during the course of the month.

Party hosts can play a role in reducing the chances of drunk driving crashes happening. They can do this by stopping the serving of alcoholic beverages around an hour or so before their guests will be leaving for the night. It is also a good idea for those hosting holiday parties to make sure they have drinks around that are non-alcoholic for the designated drivers and to have a plan to help guests get home in case someone at the event ends up having too much to drink.

Of course, ultimately drivers are the ones who need to stay sober to avoid holiday drunk driving crashes. Drivers are encouraged to find a designated driver who will take them home. They should do this before they start drinking so they have a plan in place, and they should also have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. If drivers take the risks seriously, hopefully they can avoid getting into accidents that hurt themselves or others.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.

Helping Hartford Kids Avoid Getting Hurt by Toys

When a child receives a toy as a gift over the holidays, that toy should bring fun and joy. In some cases, however, the toy turns out to be dangerous. Kids throughout Hartford, New Britain, Norwich and surrounding areas could be injured or even killed by a toy that has a defect or that is simply unsafe.

A personal injury lawyer knows that parents can help to prevent serious injuries in their kids by checking for recalled toys. They should also be aware of some of the highest risk toys on the marketplace so they can make informed choices about what gifts their children should receive this holiday season.

Preventing Injuries and Fatalities Due to Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has worked hard to try to help reduce the number of kids who die from toy-related injuries. The CPSC has imposed requirements that all toys undergo independent laboratory testing to make sure they do not have lead or other hazardous chemicals and components. Toys are not allowed to enter the country if they come from elsewhere and have not been properly tested.

The CPSC has touted success in reducing toy-related deaths and has indicated that the number of injuries caused by toys has largely held steady in recent decades. A 2013 report has some statistics showing the extent of the risks presented by toys. According to the report:

  • There were nine children killed by playing with toys in 2013. Seven of the nine deaths happened due to asphyxiation and 22 percent of the fatalities were the result of accidents with riding toys.
  • There were 256,700 children who were injured by toys during 2013 and who had to seek treatment at an emergency room as a result of the injuries. The face and the head area were the most likely body parts to be injured, accounting for approximately 44 percent of the visits that kids made to the emergency room.

The reality is, nine deaths are far too many and the number may actually be greater. Further, the injury rate has not necessarily held steady as the CPSC reports. As News 10 indicates, when you factor in harm to children who were operating electronic riding scooters, or kick scooters, the rates of injury are much higher.

In 1990, there were 18.9 children injured by toy-related problems out of every 10,000 children. By 2011, the injury rate had risen up to 26.9 kids injured per 10,000 children. Scooters may have been to blame for causing a 40 percent increase in the number of kids getting hurt. Over the course of 2011, a total of 195,363 children had to seek emergency room treatment due to injuries that were experienced while on a scooter.

Parents need to know about the electronic scooter dangers, as well as about risks presented by recalled toys. As the CPSC reports, a total of 30 toy recalls happened during 2014 when it was discovered that toys that had come to the market were not safe for children to be playing with.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com. Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.

Weighing ‘Total Loss’ Classification Following Hartford Crash

Car insurance is supposed to provide you with coverage if you have an accident. In the event that a crash causes injury, a personal injury attorney can assist in pursuing a damage claim and recovering money for medical bills and other losses from the person responsible for causing the wreck.

Insurance is also supposed to provide the money to repair or to replace your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed in a collision.

However, in some situations, the insurance company will declare your car is not able to be repaired. This is called declaring the vehicle a total loss. In other words, the vehicle is “totaled.”

When your car is declared a total loss, the insurer will pay the replacement value of the vehicle. This may not always be enough to get a car similar to what you had, and it may be difficult for you to actually find a vehicle  you can buy that is affordable for what the insurance company pays out to you.

When is a Vehicle Declared a Total Loss?

The insurance company gets to make the decision about whether a vehicle is declared a total loss. The insured does not get to make this decision and your insurance company may declare your car to be a total loss even if you would prefer the vehicle was repaired.

According to Claims Journal, an insurance company will declare that a car should be considered a total loss if it would cost more money to repair the vehicle than the car is actually worth. In some cases, this can happen with damage that seems minor to the naked eye. If the frame is bent or there are hidden defects caused by the crash, then the insurance company may declare it a loss.

If you have a less expensive or older car, the insurer may also decide it is not worth fixing the vehicle if it is not practical to spend that much money on a lower value car. For example, if a car is worth only $4,000 and the cost to repair the vehicle is totaled at around $3,000, the insurer may decide it is not worth repairing the car because the repairs would be equal to 75 percent of the total value.

The problem is when an older vehicle is declared a total loss, you may not actually be able to find a similar car in a similar condition for the $4,000 or whatever specific low amount of money is being offered. This is also an issue with brand new or newer vehicles, because they depreciate in value so quickly. Because of this problem, some insurance companies offer special policy options where those who total a new car are able to replace it with another new car.

Although you don’t get to decide whether your insurance company totals your vehicle or not, you may have the option to try to argue for a higher payout than the insurer initially offers you. You can consider asking for more if you have clear evidence that the insurer is not providing what your car is actually worth. Contact an experienced crash lawyer for help.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.

Daylight-Saving Time End Means More Hartford Crashes

Daylight-saving time has come to an end for the year when the clocks changed in November. Although many people may appreciate the extra sleep, Time Magazine warns this added slumber can come at a big cost. A personal injury lawyer recognizes there is evidence to suggest daylight-saving time can make the roads less safe, resulting in an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions, especially those involving pedestrians or bicycle riders.

Drivers need to be aware the end of daylight-saving time can be dangerous. Motorists should take extra care, especially in the days immediately following the change, in order to ensure they don’t put themselves, motorists or pedestrians at greater risk.

Ending Daylight-Saving Time Can Be Dangerous

When daylight-saving time ends, there is an extra hour of sunlight during the morning and it gets dark one hour earlier in the evening. As one University of Washington professor who studies daylight-saving time has asserted that darkness is dangerous, and sunlight can save lives. This refers to the fact that when it is dark outside, there is a greater risk of crashes. Visibility is reduced and drivers are more likely not to see pedestrians or bikers on the road.

Because it is much safer for drivers to be on the road during daylight, the key question about whether daylight-saving should end or should continue throughout the year is when sunlight is the most beneficial. Those who believe daylight-saving time should continue believe it is better to have brighter hours in the afternoon while those who believe that daylight-saving time should end believe that it is better to have sunlight in the morning.

One argument for perpetual daylight-saving time is that there are more people who are awake and active at 5 p.m. than at 7 in the morning. It is better to have light out for longer when more people are active so drivers are better able to see pedestrians in the early evening.

Some evidence seems to support this position. For example, a 2004 study showed  if an hour of sunlight was added to each evening year-round, this could prevent as many as 170 pedestrian fatalities and 200 fatalities among motor vehicle occupants.

There are also concerns the abrupt shift in time caused when daylight-saving time ends could result in drivers being less safe because they have difficulty adjusting. In the immediate wake of the change, drivers tend to operate their vehicles as though it is light, even when it is dark. This means they don’t slow down the way that they should in order to be better able to avoid pedestrian or motor vehicle collisions.

The counterargument, however, is it is better for children to end daylight-saving time so it is bright in the morning when kids go to school. This argument is why the National PTA opposed moving daylight-saving time from April to March.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com.  Also serving New Britain and Norwich to Manchester, New Haven and the Waterbury-area.