Georgia Family Safety During Fall Time Change

Keeping your family safe as Georgia nights grow longer is an important goal for every parent.   On November 3, 2019, we will move our clocks back and daylight will be reduced by an hour all at once.  The days will continue to get shorter until December 21st, which will be the shortest day of the year in Georgia.

The short days and long nights can be a drag.  It’s natural to feel more tired and less motivated.  These longer nights also bring some increased dangers.  Follow this advice to stay safe during the longer winter nights.

Night Driving

Shorter days mean more night driving.  Very few people love driving at night, and for good reason.  Visibility is more difficult and darkness cues your body to feel more tired. Only 25% of driving is done at night, but 50% of driving deaths occur at night.  The good news is there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being in a car accident at night. 

The following are some tips for safer night driving:

  • Clean your windshield regularly to avoid blinding or vision-impairing glare.
  • Don’t drive when you are tired or after you have been drinking.
  • Take an Uber or another rideshare if you have any doubt about your capacity to drive.
  • Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, eating, or looking for items while driving.
  • Check that all of your car lights are in good repair.
  • Replace your windshield wipers so you don’t smear your windshield and create vision problems when it rains.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife which you can sometimes spot by the reflection in their eyes.
  • Don’t stare directly into oncoming lights.
  • Dim your dashboard lights.
  • Wear your glasses if you need them.

Leaving and Returning in the Dark

Short days mean you’ll be leaving and returning home in the dark more often. The darkness makes it easier for a criminal to sneak up on you and get away before you or someone else can identify them.

The following are a few tips to help you stay safe when you are coming and going from an apartment or business in the dark:

  • Be aware of your surroundings; don’t look at your phone or use headphones when walking around your apartment complex.
  • Don’t sit in your car for long periods.
  • Always lock your car and apartment doors.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Walk to and from your car in well-lit areas.
  • Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
  • Report suspicious activity around your apartment to the police.
  • Avoid businesses with dark parking lots.

In addition to following these best practices, you should immediately report any dangerous conditions at your apartment complex to your property owner or manager.  For example, if lightbulbs are out in the parking lot, report it. If the guard gate to your apartment complex is broken, report it.  If you’ve heard about an increase in criminal activity at your apartment complex, report it. 

Premises liability law requires that property managers and owners take reasonable steps to remove dangerous conditions that they know about on their property,  If they fail to adequately respond to a safety issue, they may be liable if a crime that occurs.  For example, after a shooting in the Brookhaven complex in Atlanta, Georgia, a lawsuit was brought against the property management company because they failed to fix a gate that had been broken for a long period of time.

Walking at Night

With shorter days, there’s a greater likelihood that you and your family members will be walking at night. You might go on family walks for exercise, to get the dogs out of the house,  or just to get some fresh air.  The reduced visibility at night can increase the likelihood of tripping and falling, being hit by a car, or becoming the victim of a crime, but don’t let fear deter you. If you are cautious, walking after dark can be both safe and fun.

The following are some tips for walking safely at night:

  • Wear light or reflective clothing so you are more visible.
  • Know your route and avoid areas with a reputation for being dangerous.
  • Stay alert and watch where you are walking.
  • Don’t use headphones or play on your phone.
  • Bring a flashlight or use a headlamp.
  • Tell someone where you are going and check-in with them when you arrive.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Walk with others or a pet when possible.
  • Walk with confidence.
  • Cross the street or change your path if you see someone suspicious.
  • Do not make aggressive comments towards other people or drivers.
  • Call the local police if you see a crime or suspicious activity.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in Georgia, whether at night or during the day, the attorneys at Williams Elleby would be happy to meet with you to help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

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