Hey teens! Guess what happens on Sunday, Nov. 5? If you guessed Daylight Savings, then you’d be right! It’s the one day of the year I looked forward to in school because it meant I got to sleep in a little bit. But it also means that we’ll be spending the next few months wandering around in the dark like zombies, so there’s that.
A few days ago, I saw a story on Auto Express that reported a dramatic increase of car crashes in the UK that occurred after Daylight Savings. Concerned that this might also be a problem in the United States, I reached out to AAA to see if they had conducted any studies on the matter.
AAA, as it turned out, did not have a study. But! It was were able to provide some wholesome data and tips to me, which I will now present to you in full.
When Daylight Saving Time ends for 2017 – that’s Sunday, Nov. 5 – many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. Driver fatigue or drowsiness and compromised vision from headlight glare can make driving at night more dangerous than other times of day. In fact, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that more than one in five fatal crashes involve driver fatigue on U.S. roadways each year.
To prevent driving drowsy in the dark, AAA suggests:
- Get plenty of sleep at night (at least 7 hours)
- Avoid heavy foods before getting behind the wheel
- Remember, naps aren’t just for babies. Take a short nap (30 minutes or less) after a long day before hitting the road.
To avoid compromised vision while driving in the dark, AAA suggests:
- Adjust your speed to the reach of your headlights. Do not “overdrive” your headlights by driving at a speed that prevents you from stopping for obstacles in the road.
- Protect your eyes from the glare of headlights/high beams by looking to the center of your pathway and using the painted edge lines to guide your vehicle.
- Watch for sudden flashes of light at hilltops, around curves or at intersections that can indicate the presence of oncoming vehicles.
So there you have it. And when your parents call you up to tell you to be safe out there, you can stop them and tell them that you already spoke to your other set of parents, AAA.