Stay Safe After Daylight Saving Time
The change in time can cause more risks. Here’s how to avoid them.
The end of daylight saving time comes with a glorious extra hour of sleep. However, when we turn our clocks back, we are also increasing the risks that occur on the road.
It’s typical to make the assumption that the additional hour of sleep will make drivers more alert, but the time change can result with people thinking they can stay up later than usual. In spring and summer, people are getting on and off the roads to return home when the paths are brighter and hazards are more apparent. After spending the last several months with greater visibility, it may be difficult for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists to acclimatize to less light and different weather conditions. The dark also naturally causes a desire to sleep, which can result in drowsy driving.
Luckily, there are ways you can be prepared for the road after the time change. You should anticipate the fall back and maintain your regular sleep schedule. Give yourself time to adjust and plenty of time to get to your next location.
To double down on safety, take some time to complete maintenance for your vehicle. Take your car in for a tuneup and get an oil change before winter weather arrives. Clean your brake lights, headlights and taillights. Create an emergency winter car kit, stocked with the essentials: extra clothes, first-aid kit, jumper cables and more. Replace your wiper blades and fill your windshield wiper fluid.
While on the road, maintain a safe following distance at all times. Slow down and follow speed limits and adjust to the weather as needed. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists who have headphones or hats on. They may not hear your vehicle approaching. Also, be careful and watch for animals, as they are more active in the evening. Use your low beams and high beams properly: The former when you need to see 250 feet in front of you and the latter when you need to see 350 to 500 feet.
Driving isn’t the only time you must remain vigilant. As a pedestrian, be sure to take extra caution at nighttime. Try to avoid wearing dark clothing, as drivers cannot avoid what they can’t see. Always walk on the left side of the road or on a sidewalk and look before leaving the curb to cross. If possible, carry a flashlight or reflective material.
The cost of that extra hour is the danger of more driving hazards as we transition to shorter days and longer nights. We hope these help you maintain a safe and easy transition.
Don’t forget, daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 5.