With clocks set back an hour, dusk and darkness, and the driving dangers that come with it, arrive before many people get out of work or pick up their kids from school.
Three times as many people die in accidents after dark than in the daytime.
That’s the warning from AAA New York, which urges people to adjust their driving habits. In shore: Be more careful.
It’s also a good idea to take more caution while walking and cycling.
Here’s the association’s release:
Time Change Travel Tips from AAA New York
Switch to Standard Time Creates Driving, Walking, Cycling Challenges
GARDEN CITY, NY, (November 1, 2013) – With clocks “falling back” this weekend, lighting conditions will change drastically during commutes, creating difficulties as road users adjust to the new normal. “People traveling home from school and work will encounter less light beginning next week as sundown will take place an hour earlier,” said AAA New York manager of media relations, Robert Sinclair Jr. “Traveling at dusk when there is less light lowers depth perception, the ability to recognize colors and peripheral vision. We all need to be very careful, especially during the first week after the time change,” Sinclair said.
There are three times more traffic deaths at night compared to daytime, according to the National Safety Council. A driver depends on vision for maximum reaction time. Adjusting to earlier nighttime driving in the week after the return to standard time is critical.
AAA New York recommends that drivers:
Be prepared for reduced visibility.
Slow down and be extra alert in residential areas and school zones and watch for children, pedestrians and cyclists.
To see and be seen, make sure all vehicle lights are working, and use them.
Pedestrians need to be aware of the difficulty drivers will have seeing them. They should:
Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
Do not cross between parked vehicles.
Don’t jaywalk; cross at the corner traffic light.
Walk on the sidewalk, if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
Dawn will also take place earlier. Morning sun can reflect off windows and metallic surfaces. All road users should be aware that drivers have a tough time seeing early in the morning as they fight sun glare.
AAA New York provides automotive, travel and financial services to 1.6 million members in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, Herkimer, Chenango, Delaware, Schoharie, Otsego and Oneida Counties.