(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2008) - Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, when clocks will be set back one hour. The Automobile Club of Southern California recommends that 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. Forecasted weekend clouds and drizzle also may impact visibility for motorists, according to the Auto Club.
In addition to setting clocks back one hour, motorists should be prepared for reduced visibility on the road. "The evening commute will be darker so drivers can expect impaired visibility," said the Auto Club's Manager of Driver Services Kathy Downing. "Teen drivers who aren't experienced with nighttime driving and motorists with vision issues may need to be especially careful.
"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 the changing weather conditions during the morning commute."
The morning sun may also cause reflections off car windows, hoods or other metallic portions of automobiles and can be a serious hazard to drivers and pedestrians, 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 slow down and be extra alert, particularly in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
Because the additional darkness brings increased headlight use, many motorists may also experience a problem with glare from the high-technology headlights in use on newer model cars. These high-intensity discharge (HID) lights emit twice the light of conventional halogen headlamps and produce a blue-white light. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's brochure on headlight glare offers tips for motorists who experience visibility problems from high-tech headlights.
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 dark, foggy and drizzly conditions, drivers are reminded to watch for pedestrians in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections, when backing out of driveways and while driving in parking lots.