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Clocks “fall back” this weekend – let’s stay alert on roads

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already that time of year again – the end of Daylight Saving Time. Unfortunately, the time adjustment results in more than just an extra hour of sleep.

Less daylight makes the end of the day (especially rush hour) an even more dangerous time for anyone on the roads. And, because the sun sets differently in the sky, it can be harder for drivers to see people biking and walking. This lack of visibility impairs a driver’s depth perception, peripheral vision and overall performance. In fact, the National Safety Council states that traffic fatalities are three times greater at night than during the day. That makes it no surprise that it’s even more dangerous for people walking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that those on foot are three times more likely to be struck and killed when the clocks are turned back.

The good news is that by doing our part to stay alert and be mindful of others, we can help reduce these alarming statistics. Here are just a few things that you can do to stay safe and keep others safe as well:

Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Keep your windshield, windows and mirrors clean
  • Slow down! Give yourself more time to see things in your path
  • Turn headlights on to be more visible
  • Look away from oncoming lights
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they are anti-reflective
  • Keep in mind that pedestrians are not as visible

Safety Tips for Pedestrians:

  • Be seen – carry a flashlight, wear reflective/bright clothing or items such as a hat or bracelet
  • While walking, pocket the cell phone so that you are alert
  • Avoid listening to headphones at a high volume so that you can hear approaching traffic
  • Walk facing traffic and only cross at intersections or crosswalks, if possible

Collisions are avoidable. Let’s all stay safe while we fall back this year.

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