AAA: Drivers should be alert after time change

Greene County News

DAYTON — It will be time to turn back the clock at least one hour at 2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time.

AAA Dayton is warning motorists to be prepared for sun glare during their morning commute and for reduced visibility on the road during their evening commute. The time change can cause disturbed sleep patterns. When combined with the earlier dusk and darkness during the evening commute, a formula for drowsy driving and fatigue-related crashes – conditions is created that many drivers may be unaware of during the time change.

When clocks “fall back” in autumn, drowsy driving becomes a significant threat to motorists, cautions AAA Dayton. Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

“While many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep this weekend, few commuters and motorists realize the added dangers that can come as the result of a time change – especially when they are behind the wheel,” said Cindy Antrican, AAA spokeswoman. “Although we gain an hour of sleep, it is unsafe to drive when we are sleep deprived. This one-hour shift in time during the fall not only creates darker driving conditions, it can also disturb sleep patterns, perhaps even resulting in drowsy driving episodes.”

Nearly one in three drivers, 32 percent, said they have driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days, according to the latest Traffic Safety Culture Report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In fact, more than one in five, 22 percent, admitted doing this more than once during that time. Previous research by the AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually, including 109,000 crashes that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes.

AAA Dayton Tips for Drivers:

– Slow down.

– Turn on your headlights to become more visible during early morning and evening hours.

– Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.

– Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.

– Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

AAA Dayton Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists:

– Cross only at intersections. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear. Do not jaywalk.

– Cross at the corner – not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.

– Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

– Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.

– Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking or biking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.

– Avoid listening to music or make sure it is at a low volume so you can hear danger approaching.

– Bicycle lights are a ‘must have’ item for safe night riding, especially during the winter months when it gets dark earlier.

Story courtesy of AAA.

Story courtesy of AAA.