WASHINGTON — As the holiday season gets underway, area roads are increasingly busier, making for a surge in pedestrian accidents, Montgomery County police say.
Capt. Tom Jordan with Montgomery County police says that once clocks are turned back in October, the shorter daylight often leads to more accidents.
Montgomery County is offering tips to keep pedestrians safe during the season of holiday hustle and bustle.
“One of the big things is just to be seen,” Jordan said, adding that those out in the dark or twilight hours should wear flashing lights or reflective gear.
“I mean, I know from a fashion standpoint, it isn’t going to get you on the cover of Vanity Fair, but it could make a difference with regards to your safety,” he said.
Another big part of safety is paying attention. While that includes limiting distractions, like texting or listening to music in your headphones, it also means staying focused on where you’re going instead of making mental to-do lists during the busy holiday season.
“I hate to say it, but it’s part of the season sometimes,” said Jordan. “We’re very much caught up in trying to get things done, holiday shopping, just the hectic pace that you tend to get around this time, and our minds just wander elsewhere.”
The holiday season also tends to mean holiday parties, which is why many police departments often step up sober checkpoints during this time of year.
But while the focus is on drivers to stay responsible, Jordan says it’s also on those choosing to walk.
“Drinking and driving is horrible, obviously, and dangerous, but also drinking and walking,” Jordan said. “As silly as that may sound … you sometimes may misjudge things and try to get across the road … then you’re in the middle of a pedestrian accident.”