AAA is warning drivers to be careful this weekend. Daylight-saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday and clocks will be set back one hour.
The time change can cause disturbed sleep patterns, and when combined with an earlier sunset can lead to drowsy driving. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drowsy drivers are involved in around 21% of fatal crashes, that’s up from 4.5% in 2010. The report also found drowsy driving causes an estimated 328,000 crashes; 109,000 injuries; 6,400 deaths a year as people drift out of their lanes or off the road.
AAA Northern New England recommends drivers make sure they are well-rested, before getting behind the wheel.
“Before the time change, you may need to check to make sure all vehicle lights are working properly. When starting your commute, remember to turn on your headlights and then turn them off when you reach your destination. In addition, motorists should be prepared to face changed conditions during the morning commute,” said. Dan Goodman manager of public affairs for AAA New England.
- See and be seen –drivers need to see you to avoid you
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night
- Carry a flashlight when walking or walking pets in the dark
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Motorists should be well-rested.
- Drivers should anticipate changing light conditions, especially during the first week of the time change.
- To reduce glare, invest in and wear high-quality sunglasses.
- Motorists should watch for children and families in neighborhoods and school bus routes, at intersections, and when backing out of driveways.
- Remember to turn on lights during dusk or semi-dark hours.