Daylight-saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday when clocks are set back one hour, and the Automobile Club of Southern California is warning drivers about darker evening commute conditions.
The Auto Club recommends that motorists be sure they adjust their driving habits and also watch for children and others outdoors who will be less visible, especially during the first weeks of the time change. As sunset time gets earlier until the Dec. 21 winter solstice, drivers may also encounter unexpected glare in the west that hampers their vision.
“Drivers can expect reduced visibility because the evening commute time will be darker,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s traffic safety manager. “Teen drivers who aren’t as experienced with nighttime driving and motorists with vision issues may need to be especially careful.”
Lorz Villagrana recommends that drivers check all their vehicle lights, remember to use their headlights, and turn them off when they reach their destination. To avoid being blinded by sunlight glare, Lorz Villagrana recommends wearing high-quality sunglasses and adjusting car visors as needed. To avoid glare from traffic headlights, use the night setting on the rearview mirror, she said.
In addition, children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists likely will continue to be outside 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. Motorists should provide bicyclists with a three-foot buffer for safety, according to a 2014 law. It also requires them to slow to a safe and reasonable speed when passing a bicyclist if they can't get three feet away.
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 streets
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night
- Carry a flashlight when walking or walking pets in the dark
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.