It’s just an hour, but this one-hour means that our commute home will most likely be dark. It’s always more dangerous to drive when it’s dark and the fact that it’s a peak time for drivers on the road makes it even more so. When it’s dark outside it’s more difficult to make out objects, see pedestrians, and judge the distance and speed of other cars on the road. The glare can be blinding temporarily, color recognition is off along with our peripheral vision.
On top of the obvious danger of driving more in the dark is the fact that our internal clocks are thrown when we adjust the time back. Sleep experts say that we can be extra sluggish for up to a week after daylight savings time ends; and drowsy driving is dangerous driving.
What to do:
- Make sure headlights and taillights are working and clean.
- Clean the windshield and replace wipers if they are old or not working properly.
- Be extra aware of the need for your headlights to be on.
- Use high beams when possible – however, keep them off when following another vehicle or when there is oncoming traffic.
- Speed limits are set for daytime driving. Keep this in mind when it’s dark and visibility is poor.
- Use your rearview mirror’s day/night feature to reduce glare.
- Increase your following distance.
- Be alert for drivers around you that are driving erratically.
- Distractions are always bad when driving, but especially so at night.
- Be aware of the affect that the change has on your body and combat the resulting fatigue.
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