Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, and AAA is reminding drivers that the change in daylight hours may create additional distractions on the roadways, and challenges for drivers who are losing an hour of sleep.
“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Robert Sinclair, Jr., manager of media relations for AAA Northeast. “Some drivers may suddenly find themselves driving into the rising or setting sun and there may be more sun glare during commuting hours.
“Recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that drowsy driving is a factor in 10 percent of crashes, a much higher percentage than previously believed,” Sinclair added. “Drivers will have to spend the next week adjusting to having less sleep and be aware of factors that could make them sleepy behind the wheel.”
As the days become longer more children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists will likely be more active outdoors and during peak travel times. AAA reminders motorists and pedestrians to remember the following tips to stay safe:
Tips for motorists
- In the morning, watch for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways. Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
- Leave more following room. When the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing.
- Watch out for children and others who are outdoors in the lighter evening hours.
- Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
Tips for pedestrians
- Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you must walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- See and be seen. Carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing or accessories.
- Don’t walk and text. If you must use your cell phone, be sure to keep your eyes on traffic and your ears open to make sure you can hear approaching danger.