Check your headlights and wipers, you may be using them more due to the increase of darkness.
With the end
of daylight savings time comes an increase of darkness around the time of rush
hour, when traffic is at a peak. Drivers aren't used to the decreased visibility
- and neither for that matter are pedestrians, who might take chances crossing
roads when they shouldn't. Wrongful death cases as a result of auto accidents
are a strong possibility when you have all these elements working together.
The National Road Safety Foundation has done studies proving that auto
accidents increase after the clocks fall back an hour. Besides the lack of
visibility, the NRSF notes that commuting in the dark can also make drivers
drowsier than usual.
"Drowsy driving is a significant factor in traffic
crashes. The risk increases as daylight savings time ends and we spend more time
driving at night," says the NRSF's David Reich. "Drowsy driving is as dangerous
as drunk driving."
Studies show 60 percent of U.S. motorists have driven
while fatigued - resulting in many personal injury and wrongful death
situations. A CNN report estimated that pedestrians walking at dusk after the
time switch are three times more likely to be hit by a car.
daylight savings time is not going to be abolished - and obviously, even if it
were, there would still be hours less of daylight due to the approach of winter.
Therefore, it's important for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of the
heightened danger that more darkness creates for all parties - and to be
extra-cautious at this time of the year to avoid motorcycle and auto accidents.
The NRSF also offers warning signs for drowsy drivers so they can avoid
falling asleep at the wheel and causing auto accidents. These include:
Difficulty focusing, rubbing eyes, frequent blinking
o Daydreaming or not
remembering driving the last few miles
o Head snaps, yawning
out of your lane, tailgating or hitting rumble strips
Should you find
yourself with any of these warning signs, the NRSF advises you to pull over and
take a break, have a caffeinated beverage or snack, or even take a nap. Of
course, you should avoid alcohol before getting behind the wheel, as that also