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See better and be seen to avoid injury after daylight saving

4 April 2014

See better and be seen to avoid injury after daylight saving ends

After daylight saving ends this Sunday, more of us will be coming and going from our homes in the dark – which can increase the risk of injury.

“Two things you can do to reduce your risk of injury this winter are make sure you have good outdoor lighting, and wear high vis gear if you’re out walking or running after dark,” says ACC’s Head of Insurance Products and Injury Prevention, David Simpson.

More than 6000 Kiwis get injured on paths and driveways around the home each year, and over 13,000 get injured while out jogging.

Mr Simpson says “These days, there’s lots of gear you can wear to help you be seen at night. Jackets, gloves and tights are all available with sewn-in reflective strips, or you can buy reflective strips and sashes to put over your running kit.

“You can also get lightweight head torches, some of which are specially designed for runners.”

Mr Simpson says there’s a range of outdoor lighting products on the market, from relatively inexpensive solar-powered lighting to more sophisticated, mains-powered options.

“A good way to start to make your paths and walkways safer is to identify where outdoor lighting could make a difference.

“Grab a torch and go for a walk around your property at night, to identify where lighting could be used to the greatest effect. Think about where you may need a brighter light, or can get away with less.

“If you’re stepping out from a well-lit area, it’s probably best to have a reasonably bright light outside that door. But for areas where your eyes have become more accustomed to the dark, dimmer lighting may be OK.”

Mr Simpson advises talking to a retailer or electrician if you’re unsure about what products would be best for your property.

“They’re the experts, and will be able to advise you on what can meet your needs and budget.”

The onset of the cooler months can also see moss form on outdoor paths, so removing this is a good idea to prevent injuries at all times of the day.

Key statistics

Each year in New Zealand:
• over 670,000 injuries happen in and around the home
• over 6000 home-related injuries happen on outdoor paths and drives
• falls account for around 45% of home injuries (around 290,000 claims)
• 40% of falls involve working age people (age 25-64)
• around 10,000 people have to take more than one week off work following a home fall
• over 2,500 people have to take more than 3 months off work following a home fall
• over 13,000 people make ACC claims for injuries received while jogging.


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