HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – With the end of daylight saving time on Sunday, motorists will be presented with challenges that could impact pedestrian safety. Because of this, AAA is offering a few tips.
Officials say when combined with an earlier dusk, disturbed sleep patterns can become a formula for fatigue-related crashes. Moreover, the National Sleep Foundation reports that sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year.
AAA offers these tips for motorists:
- Get plenty of rest. Symptoms of drowsy driving can include having trouble keeping your eyes open, drifting from lanes, or not remembering the last few miles driven.
- Watch for deer. November and December are peak months for deer-vehicle collisions. Don’t forget – your clock has changed, but theirs haven’t.
- Get some shades. Wear high-quality sunglasses and adjust the car’s sun visors as needed to avoid glare in the morning.
- Change driving habits. Reduce speeds and increase following distances, especially in more populated areas.
- Ditch the distractions. This can include cell phones, infotainment systems, or clocks that need to be turned back an hour.
- Use the headlights. This can make you more visible to pedestrians in the morning and evening.
- Remember to yield. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. Also, don’t pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks. Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
AAA offers these tips for pedestrians:
- Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear. Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
- Use the sidewalk. If you have to walk on the road, be sure to walk facing traffic.
- Dress brightly. Wear bright or reflective clothing if you are walking or biking near traffic at night. Consider carrying a flashlight.
- Avoid distracted walking. This includes looking at your phone, wearing headphones, or listening to music.
- Bike smartly. Bicycle lights are a must-have item for safe night riding, especially during the winter months when it gets darker earlier.
“While the extra hour of sleep may feel nice on Sunday morning, it can lead to unsafe drowsy driving,” said Lynda Lambert, media spokesperson and safety advisor, AAA East Central. “Twilight is one of the most challenging times of the day to drive as it is, so motorists should take extra precautions in the weeks ahead to avoid putting pedestrians in harm’s way.”