Motorists need to slow down. It is more difficult in the dark to see pedestrians. Also, drivers should make sure their vehicle’s windows and mirrors are clean, windshield fluid is full and wipers and defrosters are working properly.
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As a pedestrian, keep in mind that motorists will have a more difficult time seeing you than they would during daylight. Try to carry a flashlight or use reflective tape on your clothing to help make yourself more visible. Use sidewalks whenever possible and never jaywalk. Additionally, stay focused and alert at all times. Avoid headphones and cellphones while traveling during the dark hours.
Supporters of Daylight Saving Time wish to implement it year-round. They believe that more individuals are awake and out in the evening hours rather than the early morning hours. Statistics show that adding an hour of daylight in the evening could save the lives of 170 pedestrians and 200 drivers per year. On the other hand, those who support ending Daylight Savings in the fall believe that having extra daylight earlier in the day rather than later makes commutes safer for all the children who head to school in the morning.
Although we may be used to our daily commutes, the darkness can make quite an impact in regard to our safety. Our body has a way of telling us when it is time to sleep. When darkness falls, our body’s internal clock believes it is time to go to bed. With darker nights ahead, sleep schedules will be affected. This can impair a driver or a pedestrian’s reaction time and also their attentiveness. Pay attention to your body’s needs and get plenty of sleep. Now that darkness comes an hour early, we encourage our readers to take these precautionary steps before heading out, to keep themselves and others safe.
NHTSA, “Consumer Advisory”