By AAA of Western and Central New York
Are you struggling with dark mornings on your way to work and as the kids head out to school? It’s about to change.
With daylight saving time ending Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 a.m., Americans will “fall back” and set their clocks back one hour to standard time. While many motorists will enjoy an extra hour of sleep, they need to be aware of the time change and potential distractions to their normal routine. There are added dangers that can come as a result of a time change, especially behind the wheel.
An earlier sunset and darkness can lead to an increase in the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured by vehicles. Therefore, drivers, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists will need to use safety measures, so they are seen on the roads. AAA advises motorists and pedestrians to remember the following tips to stay safe:
Tips for Motorists
√ Always watch out for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways. Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
√ Leave more following room. In the morning, when the sun is in your eyes, it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. Use sunglasses and your sun visor.
√ Be mindful of children and others who are outdoors in the afternoon and evening, as it gets dark earlier.
√ Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
√ Pay attention and eliminate all distractions, including cell phones and car clocks that are off by an hour.
√ Scan the road for wild animals, mainly deer. There were 34,064 animal-related crashes in New York in 2021, often outside of daylight hours.
√ With 50% of crashes occurring at night, drivers should check their headlights for signs of deterioration, and invest in new headlights – or, at a minimum, a low-cost headlight cleaning and restoration to boost the safety of driving after dark.
•Headlights can show signs of deterioration after three years, but most commonly by year five.
√ AAA suggests drivers check their headlights for changes in appearance such as yellowing or clouding. If the bulb is difficult to see, it is time to have the lens replaced or restored as soon as possible. Replacement and restoration services are available at most repair shops, including AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.
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.
√ While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid listening to headphones at a volume that prohibits you from hearing approaching danger.
Daylight saving time begins on March 12, 2023. If the Sunshine Protection Act, which the Senate passed in March 2022, is approved by the House and signed by President Joe Biden, permanent daylight saving time would take effect on Nov. 5, 2023, eliminating biannual clock changes.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 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.