With Daylight Saving Time ending Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 a.m., Americans will "Fall Back" and set their clocks back one hour. Though the extra sleep may be welcomed, motorists and pedestrians need to be alert come Monday, as it also means most evening commutes will now take place without any daylight.
"While many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep, few realize the added dangers that can come as the result of a time change - especially when behind the wheel," said Tony Spada, president and CEO of AAA Western and Central New York. "This hour-change not only creates darker driving conditions, it can also disturb sleep patterns, perhaps even resulting in drowsy driving."
AAA advises motorists and pedestrians to remember the following tips:
AAA Tips for Motorists
•Turn on your headlights. Make yourself more visible during early morning and evening hours.
•Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
•Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
•Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
•Watch out for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways.
•Pay attention and eliminate all distractions, including cell phones and car clocks that are off an hour.
•Before taking your vehicle out of park, adjust your car's clock. If unsure, consult your owner's manual or let AAA do it for you. Stop into AAA Car Care Plus (2131 Eggert Road in Amherst, or 8120 Main St., in Clarence) on Saturday, Nov. 2, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and they'll change it for free - no appointment necessary.
AAA 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.
•Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.
•Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
•See and be seen. Carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing and/or accessories.
•Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.
•While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid listening to your iPod or MP3 player at a volume that prohibits you from hearing approaching danger.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.