CHARLOTTE – AAA Carolinas warns motorists of some of the challenges they might face from Daylight Saving Time ending, such as a darker commute home and the potential of drowsy driving.
“Shorter days mean many of us will be driving home from work in the dark and traffic deaths are three times greater at night than during the day,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “It is important that motorists be extra defensive behind the wheel and watch their surroundings for animals and pedestrians.”
The risk of drowsy driving also increases with the time change, so drivers should begin taking proper precautions now to ensure they get adequate rest.
Symptoms of drowsy driving can include having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes or not remembering the last few miles driven. More than half of drivers involved in fatigue-related crashes experienced no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.
AAA Carolinas offers the following tips to help drivers avoid potential crashes:
· Rest Up: Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. If you do begin to feel drowsy while driving, pull over immediately and rest or call a family member or friend for assistance.
· Be prepared for morning/afternoon sun glare: Sun glare in the morning or late afternoon can cause temporary blindness. To reduce the glare, AAA Carolinas recommends wearing high-quality sunglasses and adjusting the car’s sun visors as needed. Use of the night setting on rearview mirrors can reduce glare from headlights approaching from the rear.
· Car Care Maintenance: Keep headlights, tail lights, signal lights and windows (inside and out) clean.
· Ensure headlights are properly aimed: Misaimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce visibility.
· Keep headlights on low beams when following another vehicle, so other drivers are not blinded.
· Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. It is more difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night.
· Be mindful of pedestrians and crosswalks: Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks