How Can I Drive Safely When the Clocks Fall Back?

drive safely fall

Since late June, the days have been getting progressively shorter and the sun has been setting earlier. That will increase significantly when daylight saving time ends on November 7. It will mean more commuters will be driving home in the dark when a week before it was daylight as they drove home.

With more motorists becoming nighttime drivers, many will not be prepared for the sudden shift. This can lead to an increase in car accidents, which can cause a wide range of personal injuries that will require the services of a car accident lawyer.

How Dangerous Is It When Daylight Saving Time Ends?

When the daylight shifts at the conclusion of daylight saving time, it means millions of people will be coming home from work after the sun has already set. Although this may not appear to be a major shift for most drivers, statistics demonstrate that the increase of more nighttime drivers equates to a greater number of accidents.

There is a 10 percent increase in the likelihood of car accidents occurring at the end of daylight saving time. The odds then increase by an additional 30 percent between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m., when there are more vehicles out on the road.

What Are Steps to Take to Prepare for the New Driving Environment?

With the end of daylight saving time approaching, now is a good time to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the shift to nighttime driving. There are a few steps you can take ahead of time to better prepare yourself and your vehicle. These steps include the following:

  • Get enough sleep: Although many people enjoy the extra hour of sleep because of the clocks falling back, it does take your body several days to adjust to the new schedule. Make sure you are getting sufficient sleep every night. You may have to go to bed early for a few nights to catch up.
  • Prepare your vehicle: The time change is another indication that winter is approaching. In anticipation of this, prepare your vehicle for the colder weather. Make sure your tires are in good shape, your fluid levels are replenished, and you stock a winter safety kit for your car.
  • Check your lights: With it getting dark, you will want to make sure that all your lights are functioning normally. That includes headlights, brake lights, fog lights, and internal lights. Use car reflections and friends to check your exterior lights and remember to only use the amount of light you need so is not to blind other drivers.
  • Clear windshield: Make sure your windshield and other windows are clear. Take time to wipe them down inside and out. As an added precaution, top off your windshield wiper fluid.
  • Bring sunglasses: Although this may not seem to make sense as the conditions are growing darker, driving during the peak of a sunset or sunrise can be difficult to drive through, particularly when you are dealing with glare. Sunglasses will cut down on the amount of glare you are facing.
  • Do not stare at lights: While driving at night, it can be easy to grow accustomed to the lack of light. This makes it easy for the lights from oncoming traffic to distract and mesmerize you. It is best not to stare directly into these or any other lights you encounter while driving.

No matter where you are going, you should understand that you are now driving with less light than before. You should realize that others are adjusting to the changing light as well. Be patient while driving and take your time. Do not rush and give your fellow drivers ample space to ensure that everyone gets to their destination safely.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Those Injured in Car Accidents Impacted by the Time Change

It can be difficult to adjust to driving from home in the dark. Others may have a difficult time or may not notice the difference and become careless in their driving. That carelessness can lead to accidents. If you have been hurt driving home because another driver is having trouble with the lack of daylight, you will need help to obtain a compensation package to recoup your losses. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help you get the package that you deserve. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.