AAA Warns of Commuting Hazards Following Daylight Savings Time

| March 9, 2014 | 0 Comments | News

This weekend the annual tradition of “springing forward returns, without much concern from residents over the lost hour. However, AAA. raises the concern that come Monday, many drivers may not be fully alert as they travel to work and school.

“As we spring forward this weekend, we all look forward to longer daylight hours in the evening, however that also means dark hours in the morning for many commuters” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “AAA advises motorists to get plenty of sleep Sunday evening in preparation for daylight saving time to avoid drowsy driving.”

AAA cites a 2010 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which reports an estimated 17 percent of fatal crashes, 13 percent of crashes resulting in hospitalization, and seven percent of all crashes requiring a tow involve a drowsy driver.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, which may be higher because police can’t always determine with certainty when driver fatigue results or is a contributory factor in a crash.

Signs of drowsy driving include: drifting out of lanes or hitting rumble strips, having trouble keeping eyes open and focused, having wandering, disconnected thoughts, missing signs or driving past your exit and feeling irritable and restless.

Furthermore, additional daylights hours will also bring more activity outdoors from children, pedestrians, runners, walkers and cyclists.

AAA Mid-Atlantic offers these Tips:

  • Slow down, pay attention and eliminate all distractions.
  • Watch out for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways.
  • Sun glare can make it difficult to see.  AAA suggests increasing your following distance from the vehicle ahead of you, utilizing your sun visor and investing in polarized sunglasses.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible during early morning and evening hours.
  • Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
  • Watch the high beams.  Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
  • Remember that your stopping distance is increased in rainy or snowy weather.

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