EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — We’re all getting ready to set our clocks back an hour this weekend, but experts say it can potentially lead to dangers for people behind the wheel.
The clock is ticking toward the end of daylight saving.
The shorter days will not only impact your sleep schedule but also your morning and evening commute.
“You don’t realize, but your body changes as well because now when we’re either leaving work or school or picking up the kids after school, it is going to be darker at five o’clock,” says Nina Waskevich, VP of Brand & Membership at AAA North Penn.
Monday morning you’ll notice the sun sitting at the perfect angle that could impair the vision of those behind the wheel across NEPA.
That brighter morning, then switching to a darker commute in the evening, with some factors like newer vehicle technology playing a factor in dangerous driving.
“Now vehicles are equipped with infotainment screens that are bright, or else have brighter dashboards, so sometimes when we’re driving in those darker situations on the way home, they can actually be distracting during our commute.”
While that extra hour sounds like extra rest, drivers’ sleep patterns may increase the chances of drowsy driving.
According to AAA drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually.
“95% of drivers agree that driving drowsy is dangerous, but only 17 percent of drivers admit to having been driving while being so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.”
AAA officials say there are things you can do to keep yourself and others safe while driving:
- Make sure to utilize your visor when experiencing the sun’s glare.
- Slow down and keep extra distance between your vehicle and others.
- Use extra caution looking both ways in the area of a crosswalk.
In addition to checking the batteries in your smoke detectors at home, AAA officials say now is a good time to also make sure your vehicle has routine maintenance and a winter preparedness kit ahead of the colder months.