With the end of daylight saving time, the clocks go back one hour and suddenly, it gets dark before you know it. While many people appreciate the extra hour of sleep, the change also brings an increased risk of accidents on the road.
There are a few things every driver should know to ensure safety on the road.
With the sun setting earlier, rush hour traffic and evening commutes become shrouded in darkness, leading to reduced visibility. This makes it harder to see other vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles on the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
The change in time can disrupt sleep patterns and the darkness contributes to some drivers feeling drowsy during the evening commute. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. It impairs reaction time, attention and decision-making, increasing your risk of accidents.
Recognizing the increased risks is a start. Taking steps to improve your safety is just as important. Check all of your vehicle’s lights to ensure that everything works properly. Consider upgrading your bulbs to brighter options for improved visibility.
Slow down and increase your following distance as well. With limited visibility, you need greater flexibility for your reaction time. Not only that, but you should watch for any pedestrians. Nearly 75% of pedestrian-involved accidents occur in the nighttime hours. Early darkness after the time change extends those hours.
The fall shift for daylight savings time ushers in the cooler weather and cozy sweaters, but it also brings these safety concerns for drivers. Be mindful of the hazards and take precautions to protect yourself and others on the road.