The month of March brings us Daylight Savings Time and the first day of Spring (March 20), so there will be more hours of daylight and the weather should start warming up. Both of these factors mean more pedestrians, so keep a watchful eye. Experts also recommend scheduling preventative maintenance around this time of year.

Daylight Savings Time

This year, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00am on Sunday, March 11. Statistics from the National Safety Council confirm that motor vehicle accidents increase in the days immediately following Daylight Savings Time, in which clocks are turned forward one hour. All industry drivers should note the following:

  • It is generally recommended that drivers get a good night sleep, with a minimum of eight consecutive hours of sleep.
  • Drivers should use extra caution while working their shifts in the days immediately after Daylight Savings Time as more people will be Driving While Drowsy than usual.

Pedestrian Accidents

  • All vehicles must yield to all pedestrians at all times, at all locations. In New York City, millions of pedestrians cross intersections 24-hour- a-day.
  • Always avoid frightening (by blowing your horn) or angering a pedestrian by moving at an excessive speed towards someone unnecessarily. Such actions can lead to a pedestrian banging on the hood of your vehicle or falling down and making a fraudulent claim.
  • Always anticipate an unsafe act by a pedestrian observed talking on the cell phone, talking to another pedestrian, eating or just not paying attention to their surroundings while crossing an intersection.
  • Always use extra caution for senior citizens, as their hearing and vision may be impaired.
  • Always anticipate pedestrians crossing unsafely from between double-parked vehicles.
  • Watch for pedestrians jaywalking in front of a bus in the process of loading passengers.
  • Please use extra caution in the hours immediately after sundown, when visibility is diminished.
  • Always call the police and make a report if you are involved in an incident or an accident with a pedestrian. DO NOT leave the scene or you can be arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, even if you know that your vehicle did not make contact with the pedestrian – and no matter how insignificant or minor it may appear.
  • Do not leave the scene without exchanging information with everyone involved.
  • Many uninjured pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists will state that they are okay at an accident scene only to later file a claim. Call the police to the scene whenever a pedestrian requests the police. If you leave the scene of an accident with an alleged pedestrian injury you may be arrested and charged with a crime. Always invest a few minutes at the time of the incident to avoid losing a far greater amount of time later on.

Preventive Maintenance

Experts recommend developing a preventative maintenance schedule around the changing of the seasons.

  • Preventive maintenance can not only save you money, but helps prevent accidents.
  • Always visually inspect your vehicle prior to starting your work shift. Attend to any loose metal, sharp edges or any other unsafe obstacles that could harm passengers.
  • Maintain the tire pressure suggested in the vehicle manual in order to avoid blowouts and inconvenient flat tires. Attempting to save money by driving on bald tires could be dangerous and end up costing you far more money in the long run.
  • • windshield wiper, etc.) prior to your work shift. A breakdown in an unsafe area (highway or one-way street) can lead to a catastrophic accident.
  • Always check your emergency blinkers and headlights prior to your work shift.
  • Always keep a flashlight, screwdriver and extra cell phone battery on hand.
  • Always keep an extra set of dry clothing, water, a blanket and canned food in the trunk.
  • Check your brakes and front-end with every oil change. A wheel malfunction can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and puts yourself and others at serious risk.
  • Always check your hood latch prior to your work shift. Hoods that fly open can lead to a catastrophic accident.
  • Keep a first aid kit in your vehicle. Check it periodically, and make sure you know what each item is for, and how to use it.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

See All Articles