Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends this Sunday, Nov. 6. While many turn back their clocks to get an extra hour of sleep, it’s important to remember the hidden dangers this time change can create for drivers.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the day after the fall time change is one of the most dangerous days to drive, with a marked increase in car crashes each year.
Here are a few risks of driving during this season, along with recommendations for how you may be able to make this transition safer for all road users:
- Driving home in the dark
The fall time change means more time spent driving in lower light conditions, which increases the risk of crashes. According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are three times higher after dark. It’s important to stay alert and slow down.
- Increased accidents during rush hour
Rush hour is a dangerous time to travel, with many drivers hurrying to get home after a busy day. It’s important to practice patience and slow down. Be mindful of distracted driving and stay aware.
- Increased fatigue
As we transition to the new time change, our circadian rhythm is also adjusting and may be fighting drowsiness. Remember, driving drowsy puts everyone at risk, not just yourself. Get enough sleep while your body adjusts and do not drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more.
- Decreased pedestrian visibility
Due to lower light conditions, it is equally important for pedestrians to practice safe habits when traveling. Pedestrians should dress brightly, and consider wearing reflective clothing near high-traffic areas. Additionally, pedestrians should only cross at intersections or crosswalks and always use the sidewalk when available.
With these efforts, drivers and pedestrians can work together to create safer roadway conditions in every season.