Time change affects drivers

The four weeks following the change from daylight savings time to standard time can lead to accidents

A runner is out for an early morning jog in the rain. The driver of a passing car suddenly slams on their brakes as the runner attempts to cross the road without warning. Both are startled, but unscathed.  This near miss could have gone so wrong.

Last year, throughout the province, BC Ambulance Service responded to 19 per cent more calls for pedestrians being hit by cars in the four weeks following the change from daylight savings time to standard time compared to the previous four weeks.

In order to help pedestrians stay safe during the dark, wet winter months, BC Ambulance Service recommends the following:

For pedestrians:

n Be visible – wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight;

n Be sidelined – use sidewalks where available or walk facing traffic

n Be predictable – stay off highways, use crosswalks, be careful walking around hedges, parked cars and busses

n Be  alert – don’t wear headphones or talk or text on a cellphone

n Be defensive – make eye contact with drivers – don’t assume you’ve been seen even in a crosswalk

For drivers:

n Be cautious – drive slowly, especially around crosswalks, shoulder check when turning right just to be sure no one is walking

n Be a leader – yield for pedestrians and give other drivers time to stop as well

n Be attentive – particularly around schools and neighbourhoods where children and residents are active

n Be smart – never pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.

BCAS operates under the authority of BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) to provide residents and healthcare professionals with access to pre-hospital emergency and patient transfer services.

BCAS is recruiting paramedics in many rural communities throughout the province. Please visit www.bcas.ca for more information about our employment opportunities.