PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The risk of drivers crashing during their evening commute rises after Daylight Saving Time ends, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Transportation officials say crashes in Portland peak in frequency between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Add in the end of Daylight Saving Time and darker conditions, and there’s a 30-percent increase in the risk of injury crashes in urban areas like Portland, PBOT says.
Transportation officials warn that the risk crash to pedestrians is also highest in the fall and winter months. One man FOX 12 spoke with says he hopes upgrades to street safety remain a priority.
“I think that people make mistakes at pretty much equal rates, whether they’re driving or biking or walking, and I just hope that the streets are setup so that when people do make mistakes, that people don’t die,” Scott Kocher, a bicyclist, said.
According to PBOT, most nighttime crashes involving pedestrians occur on streets with lights, but studies show that lighting still needs improvement. The agency says they’ve already upgraded lighting at some crossings along Southeast Division and more improvements are in the works for streets in their high-crash network.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a bill that would get rid of time changes and make Daylight Saving Time permanent. PBOT says the move would likely make traffic a little safer, but the bill still needs congressional approval.
For Oregon to get rid of Daylight Saving Time, Washington state and California would have to do the same. Washington has already passed its approval, but California is still considering the move.
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