It's true that there's a significant uptick in crashes at the transitions between Daylight Savings and regular time.
And perhaps it's random noise, but you know, crashes here don't happen only at night, and they aren't just the mysterious result of sudden and unexpected danger in the roadway.
Most of them are preventable - aren't accidents really - and almost all of them involve cars.
The imagery in the SJ graphic, and the tendency of ODOT's public pronouncements, together efface the principal agent - the car and its driver - and minimize the role of speed. They mystify more than is necessary.
At 20mph almost all crashes are non-fatal. At 25 mph 5% are, at 30 mph 45% are fatal, and at 35 mph 65% are fatal.
If we want to make people safe, reducing car speed should be at the top of the list!
|City of Portland|
|Drove into Quiznos|
|Ran over a kid on gravel shoulder on Hwy 99|
There's a radical asymmetery between people in cars and people on foot or on bike. One has a metal carapace, a powerful engine, and moves in space with enormous force. The others are puny in relation. We engineer cars and roads to be "forgiving," to forgive small errors and to make the resulting error-correction as harm-free as possible.
People on foot and on bike should enjoy the same level of engineering forgiveness - but the current standards displace blame and consequences disproportionately on the more vulnerable road user.
To say people on foot and on car share equal responsibility is forget this asymmetry, and too often results in blaming the victim. You know: The road is dangerous, and you should always assume the car driver doesn't see you and will hit you. It's your fault you got hit, weren't careful enough, didn't give the driver enough slack.