With the ending of daylight saving time around the corner and the fall season officially here, it’s beginning to get dark earlier.
While cool autumn nights are a nice break from the hot and wet summer we’ve just had, what comes with the pleasant weather is also nighttime appearing closer to 6 p.m.
The worst part about the darkness creeping up is that many people still act as though the sun is still out during the late evening. It’s not, and we all need to be careful.
When the sun is shining, drivers are able to see pedestrians walking, biking, skating — but not so much anymore with the season change. Dog walkers are normally good about bringing a flashlight, and cyclists almost always have reflectors on their bikes — but a few do not, and they can get seriously hurt if both parties are not paying attention.
But it isn’t just the people outside getting their exercise and enjoying the fresh air who are at fault. Drivers need to slow down.
The combination of darkness plus speeding can cause a catastrophe. Both parties would be at fault.
And then there are the deer and the other woodland critters that live in our backyards. Unfortunately, they don’t own a flashlight, so it’s our responsibility as good humans to keep an eye out for the animals who dart into the street.
If we are driving slowly and cautiously, there’s a good chance we can avoid them and let them be on their merry way. If we don’t, not only could we kill the poor animal, but they can cause serious damage to the car and to us.
While we appreciate the lights we have on our local streets, it’s not enough. Please, don’t wear all-dark colors while out during an evening stroll. Do bring a flashlight or indicator that you are there. Be aware of your surroundings — if you want to listen to music on your earphones, keep it down so you can hear if a car is heading your way. Remember to walk against the traffic. If you’re a cyclist, go in the same direction as the vehicles.
And drivers, as we said, be mindful of our neighbors taking advantage of our beautiful North Shore. Slow down and enjoy the ride, too.