(LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2010) – Daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 14. Parents are encouraged by the Automobile Club of Southern California to make sure children who are playing outside later in the day are wearing helmets while biking and skateboarding. They also should caution children of all ages to watch out for motorists. Drivers are advised to use extra caution, and to be aware of more children and others who are outdoors in the lighter evening hours especially in the first weeks of the time change.
Motorists should drive slower, and be extra alert, especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones because more bicyclists, children, joggers, pedestrians, and walkers will be outside biking, running, playing and walking because of the longer daylight hours during the evening commute, according to the Auto Club. In 2008, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities among young people ages 5 to 14 reached 46 and bike and pedestrian injuries numbered 4,238 statewide.
Drivers also should be prepared to face reduced visibility during the morning commute. “The morning drive to work or school will be darker so drivers can expect impaired visibility,” said Anita Lorz, of the Auto Club’s Community Programs and Traffic Safety Dept. “Drivers may need to turn on their headlights, if you begin your commute early in the morning hours, and then turn the headlights off when you reach your destination.”
As the morning sun is coming up, it may 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,” Lorz. “Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so the same recommendations apply.”
In addition to adjusting their commuting habits for daylight-saving time, the Auto Club also recommends that drivers wear their safety belts and be sure that all passengers are buckled up. Small children under age 13 should be secured safely in the backseats of vehicles.