AAA provides driving advice at the end of daylight saving time


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – With daylight saving time ending this Sunday, AAA Center-East recommends that motorists be prepared for the potential problems associated with changes in sleep patterns, brighter mornings, and darker commutes.

“While the extra hour of sleep may seem nice on Sunday mornings, changing the time can lead to greater risks while driving,” said JJ Miller, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “The time change can affect concentration, attention and decision-making, so motorists should take extra precautions in the coming weeks to avoid endangering pedestrians.”

Researchers at Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University have found that the effects of the time change can affect motorists for up to two weeks. Disrupted sleep patterns can become a formula for fatigue-related crashes when combined with an earlier twilight.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that each year, sleep deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roads. To help keep everyone safe during the daylight saving time change, AAA East Central has provided safety tips for motorists and pedestrians.

Advice to motorists:

  • Have had plenty of sleep. – Symptoms of drowsiness while driving may include; difficulty keeping your eyes open, drifting lanes or not remembering the last miles traveled
  • Watch out for the deer. – November and December are the peak months for collisions between deer and vehicles. Remember, your clock has changed, but theirs haven’t.
  • Get nuances. – Wear high quality sunglasses and adjust the car sun shades as needed to avoid glare in the morning.
  • Change driving habits. – Reduce speeds and increase tracking distances, especially in more populated areas.
  • Give up distractions. – This can include cell phones, infotainment systems or clocks that need to be set back one hour.
  • Use headlights. – It can make you more visible to pedestrians in the morning and evening.
  • Remember to give in. – Pedestrians have the right of way in pedestrian crossings. In addition, do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks. Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Tips for pedestrians:

  • Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. – Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear. Do not cross or cross between parked cars.
  • Use the sidewalk. – If you must walk on the road, be sure to walk in front of traffic.
  • Dress in bright colors. – Wear bright or reflective clothing if you walk or cycle near traffic at night. Consider bringing a flashlight.
  • Avoid walking distracted. – This includes looking at your phone, wearing headphones, or listening to music.
  • Ride smart. – Bike lights are a must have for safe night riding, especially during the winter months when it gets darker earlier.

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