It’s bet­ter to be safe and seen than risk an ac­ci­dent in the dark dur­ing win­ter time

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Business Telegraph - Bynikkim­c­connell, part­ner, Wor­thing­tons So­lic­i­tors

Ihope you all re­mem­bered about the hour change on Sun­day morn­ing and ap­pre­ci­ated that ad­di­tional hour in bed. The end of Bri­tish Sum­mer Time (BST) re­sults in the start of dark evenings and many peo­ple will be em­bark­ing on their jour­ney home from school or work in the dark.

The dark­ness causes ad­di­tional travel risks, not least to pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and mo­tor­cy­clists. A very large percentage of our school­child­ren are re­quired to wear black or navy school uni­forms and coats and are dif­fi­cult for driv­ers to see on dark, wet nights.

Chil­dren will wear their hoods up and may not be pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the traf­fic on the roads, as they hurry home in the rain.

The dark evenings also pose ad­di­tional risks to cy­clists and mo­tor­cy­clists, es­pe­cially on dark coun­try roads which are not lit by street light­ing.

Wet roads in­crease stop­ping dis­tances, and cars and bikes skid eas­ily on slip­pery sur­faces.

Re­search has shown that the num­ber of ac­ci­dents on our roads in­creases dra­mat­i­cally with the end of BST. The Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice has es­ti­mated that the num­ber of se­ri­ous and fatal pedes­trian ac­ci­dents in­creases by 10% in the first four weeks af­ter the clocks go back, and the num­ber of road ca­su­al­ties gen­er­ally, peaks in the hour af­ter sun­set.

Sadly, we act in a large num­ber of cases where the dark­ness has been a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the ac­ci­dent oc­cur­ring.

Pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists are very vul­ner­a­ble, and sadly the in­juries sus­tained by them, when in­volved in col­li­sions with ve­hi­cles, can be life chang­ing and heart­break­ing.

There is no bet­ter ad­vice than be safe, be seen. Wear re­flec­tive clothes or bands when walk­ing or cy­cling and take ex­tra care when driv­ing in dark, wet con­di­tions. Nikki Mccon­nell is a part­ner with Wor­thing­tons So­lic­i­tors and is head of the lit­i­ga­tion depart­ment in its New­tow­nards of­fice. Nikki has con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence of rep­re­sent­ing both plain­tiffs and de­fen­dants in a wide va­ri­ety of liti­gious matters, in­clud­ing pub­lic and em­ploy­ers li­a­bil­ity cases, road traf­fic ac­ci­dents and med­i­cal neg­li­gence ac­tions. Nikki can be con­tacted on 028 9181 1538 or email nikki@wor­thing­ton­

Re­search has shown that the num­ber of se­ri­ous and fatal ac­ci­dents on our roads rises dra­mat­i­cally with the end of BST

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