Do you find yourself driving in the dark a lot more lately? You’re not alone. With the end of daylight savings time last week many of us are spending more time with those headlights on.
With the time change, we now have fewer daylight hours - and increased dangers on the roadways. Since our bodies’ internal clocks tell us to sleep when it’s dark, it stands to reason early nightfall makes us more prone to drowsy driving.
Along with drowsy driving, the darker driving conditions decrease visibility and increase the chances of a car accident.
In fact, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night, according to the National Safety Council, so it is very important for drivers to be prepared when the evenings become darker earlier.
So, keep these driving safety tips in mind this fall:
- Prep your car for nighttime driving. It may be common sense, but it bears repeating. Check and clean your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and signal lights. After all, you want to see and be seen by other drivers on the road.
- Be extra cautious. Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time. Also, keep in mind that pedestrians of all ages, joggers, and bicyclists will be less visible during dusk and after-dark hours. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians in Ohio has risen in recent years and the majority of those deaths happen at night. That’s exacerbated by the end of daylight saving time, as the number of daylight hours shrinks. Last year, November accounted for 18 percent of Ohio’s pedestrian deaths and only 22 percent of the total happened during the day.
- Get rest. Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep each night to try and avoid drowsy driving and avoid the temptation to stay up extra late this Saturday night – even if you do get that bonus hour.
- Watch out for animals on the road. Deer and other animals are most active at night, and since more deer-related collisions occur in November than any other month, be extra careful in the weeks following daylight saving time. Visit the BWC blog for more about precautions you can take to avoid a deer collision.
One more consideration: A new distracted driving law in Ohio increased fines after deadly statistics for accidents continue to climb across the country. Just one more reason to pay attention to the road!
Check out BeSafeOhio.com for more driving safety tips, and avoiding common injuries at home and in your workplace.