Protecting bicyclists and pedestrians is an important priority in all California communities. The end of daylight saving time brings additional dangers to both bicyclists and pedestrians. The National Traffic Safety Administration notes that drivers must adjust to low-light environments with earlier sunsets and other changes that the end of daylight saving time brings.
In addition, the end of daylight saving time presents dangers that fatigued and sleep-deprived drivers may be on the road and may create a risk for those they share the roadways with including bicycle riders and pedestrians. Drowsy Driving Awareness Week is during the week daylight saving time ends to bring awareness to the risks of driving without enough sleep. During 2013, there were 4,284 car accidents in California that involved sleepy or fatigued drivers. In 2015, that figure increased to 5,551 car accidents and 45 deaths involving sleepy or fatigued drivers.
A representative for the California Highway Patrol noted drowsy driving impairs the judgment, performance and reaction time of drivers similar to the way alcohol and drugs can impair the judgment, performance and reaction time of drivers. It is important that drivers pay careful attention to observe bicyclists and pedestrians to help avoid bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. It is also important that they not drive while fatigued or sleep deprived.
While daylight saving time has become something of a controversy, it is important to focus on keeping bicyclists, pedestrians and others sharing the roadways safe which can be done by avoiding drowsy driving and distracted driving, while remaining attentive on the roadways. When a bicyclist or other victim has been injured by a negligent driver, there are important personal injury legal protections to keep in mind that can help them with the damages they have suffered.