Early Sunset Blamed for Some Recent Crashes [OPINION]
If it seems as though there has been a spike in the number of car crashes that have occurred in the region in recent weeks, you may be right. Though there are no hard stats on this yet, a police officer friend of mine agrees that there has been an uptick. And he says it is not all that unusual this time of year.
So, why is that?
It's not global warming or climate change and it's not even President Trump's fault, but there may be a contributing factor: darkness. Early darkness.
My police friend says it has been his observation over the years that when we reset our clocks to "fall back," there seems to be an adjustment period for some who are used to driving home from work or wherever in the daylight. Even a familiar pattern in unfamiliar conditions can cause difficulties for some. Earlier sun glare can add to the problem as well.
Now, this is obviously not in play in car crashes that occur later in the evening or overnight when it is normally dark anyway. But it is something to consider and perhaps be aware of until folks get used to the early darkness.
When you think of it, it follows the same logic as the season's first snow. We're hearty New Englanders and used to driving in the snow, but somehow the season's first storms always seem to bring about a spate of car crashes because people tend to forget how to drive in the snow.
Another factor to consider is that there are kids and other pedestrians out there that are more difficult to see with your evening commute now cloaked in darkness. Some might consider this a solid argument for why we need to do away with the time change this time of year. It has actually been discussed on Beacon Hill.
I prefer it to remain light as late as possible and would not object to a change.
In any event, just slow down a bit and watch out for others who might still be adjusting to the time change, and take heart as daylight begins expanding again in just about another month from now.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.