The combination of evening rain and earlier darkness has proved to be a dangerous one on Toronto streets with police and paramedics reporting 17 pedestrians hit by vehicles on Thursday night.
Toronto Paramedics told 680 NEWS they responded to 17 pedestrian struck incidents between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.
In one incident, a 92-year-old man was hit by a car at Kipling Avenue and Annabelle Drive near Finch Avenue West around 8:45 p.m. It appears he was in a marked crossing when he was hit. As of Friday morning, he remains in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Around the same time in East York, just before 8:30 p.m., a woman in her 30s was hit by a car at Pape and Cosburn avenues. She suffered serious injuries. The driver fled the scene.
And just before 6:30 p.m. a pedestrian was hit at Lawrence Avenue and Avenue Road. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
With clocks going back an hour on Sunday it will get darker earlier for the evening commute home, which means drivers and pedestrians will have to pay extra attention while navigating the streets.
“The sun comes up at 8 o’clock in the morning now at this time of year, so we see it consistently over the years … there is a definite spike in vulnerable road user collisions, not just in Toronto. The research says it is everywhere,” Sgt. Brett Moore with Traffic Services told CityNews.
Police have said in the past that the number of pedestrian-related traffic injuries typically increases during the month of November, due in part to the time change.
Officials consider the day after the time change — whether it is fall back or spring forward — as one of the most dangerous days on the streets for pedestrians.
Moore said as a driver, you have to anticipate and focus on what you are doing.
“You’ve got to anticipate pedestrians, cyclists, construction, lights, sirens, all those things, when you come downtown in Toronto to drive,” he said.
And he has this advice for pedestrians: “Don’t anticipate people see you. As bad as that sounds, you’ve got to look after yourselves on the roads, especially when you are crossing the streets.”