Auto Club: Fall Back … Extra Driving Caution Advised During End of Daylight-Saving Time

(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26, 2006) – Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, when clocks will be set back one hour. The Automobile Club of Southern California recommends motorists use additional caution, adjust their driving habits and watch for children and others outdoors who will be less visible, especially during the first week of the change.

In addition to setting clocks back one hour, motorists should be prepared to face bright sunlight and glare during the morning commute. “The evening commute will be darker so drivers can expect impaired visibility,” said Kathy Downing, the Auto Club’s Manager of Driver Services. “You may need to turn on your headlights, when you begin your commute, and then turn the headlights off when you reach your destination. In addition, motorists should be prepared to face bright sunlight and glare during the morning commute.”

The early setting sun may also cause reflections off car windows, hoods or other metallic portions of automobiles and can be a serious hazard, she added. “The glare may cause temporary blindness. To reduce glare, invest in and wear high-quality sunglasses and adjust your car’s sun visors as needed,” Downing said.

Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so the same recommendations apply. In addition, children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists likely will continue to be outside playing and exercising but will be a lot less visible during the evening commute.

The Auto Club recommends that motorists drive slower and be extra alert, particularly in residential neighborhoods and school zones.

The Auto Club recommends the following tips for pedestrian safety:

  • See and be seen — drivers need to see you to avoid you
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets
  • Wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night
  • Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark

Walk on the sidewalk.  If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
During this period of dark, foggy and drizzly conditions, drivers also are reminded to watch for pedestrians in their neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections, and even when backing out of driveways and while driving into parking lots.