ARLINGTON, Va. (DC News Now) — It’s almost time to set back the clock as daylight savings starts early Sunday morning. But that extra hour of sleep means we lose an hour of daylight.
That could pose some dangers on the road including a sun glare for the morning commute, earlier darkness for the evening commute and historically more crashes.
Whether riding for fun or commuting, a lot of people are biking in Arlington.
“It’s much better than taking the metro or being in traffic,” Suzanne Lima said. “You get to go by the Potomac and it’s nice and relaxing.”
But as the days get shorter, evening rides can become dangerous.
“When you bike or walk, a lot of times you see the headlights and you think, ‘Oh, I’m very visible,’ but you’re not. You see the cars, but they don’t see you,” Kim Bennett said.
According to a pedestrian and bicyclist safety program, Street Smart, in 2022, 139 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the D.C. region, a 35% increase from 2021.
“We actually have a friend who was in a bike accident and got a TBI. So for us, we don’t underestimate the dangers of not being seen by other cars,” said Igor Lima.
That’s why Mary Dallao, program director of Bike Arlington and Walk Arlington, is trying to “Lighten Up Arlington” with free bike lights and reflective vests.
Dallao says they’re giving out about 2,000 lights over the span of three days to make sure everyone walking and biking stays visible.
“Be a PAL when you’re walking, biking, driving, that means be predictable, alert and lawful,” Dallao said. “If you consistently do those three things, you can enjoy riding and biking year round.”
More lights and vests will be distributed on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail at Columbia Pike in Arlington on Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.