Driving safety as Daylight Savings Time ends

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 04:07 AM

As Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 3 and clocks are turned back, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions motorists and pedestrians to be more alert as the potential for harm increases as darkness arrives earlier.

The NHTSA offers several safety tips for motorists during the shorter days of autumn and winter, including slowing down during the evening hours to allow more time to see pedestrians in driving paths.

Drivers should also be mindful that pedestrians who are wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs may not hear approaching vehicles.

Windshields, windows and mirrors should also be kept clean and defrosters and wipers need to be working properly to ensure clear viewing.

The NHTSA encourages pedestrians to carry flashlights or wear reflective materials on clothing, backpacks, purses and briefcases that will reflect light from headlights back to drivers.

Pedestrians should not depend on traffic signals for protection as motorists may be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.

Additionally, pedestrians should avoid jaywalking or crossing between parked vehicles and utilize crosswalks and sidewalks.

The NHTSA also cautions that the clock adjustment could catch some drivers by surprise, with sun glare or darkness occurring during different parts of their familiar driving routine.

Furthermore, because sleep patterns are affected, the NHTSA warns motorists to be aware of their need for rest and the effect that a loss of sleep can have on driving attention and fatigue.

Information on pedestrian data and auto safety can be found in the NHTSA's online monthly newsletter, "Safety in Numbers."

Topics discussed include people at risk and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on roadways.

For additional safety tips, visit www.nhtsa.gov/.