Driving hazards due to DST switch

In light of the recent time change, AAA Oklahoma reminds motorists to think ahead about the hazards associated with driving during the night and early morning hours as Daylight Saving Time ends.

“Shorter days starting (this month) meant many of us will be driving home from work in the dark,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “The risk of drowsy driving also increases with the time change.”

Motorists should be prepared for sun glare during morning commutes and while driving in the late afternoon. The morning sun can cause reflections off car windows, hoods and other metallic parts of vehicles, creating serious hazards. Sun glare tends to be worse in the morning and in the late afternoon. Sometimes the glare can cause temporary blindness.

To reduce the glare, AAA Oklahoma recommends wearing high-quality sunglasses and adjusting the car’s sun visors as needed.

Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so drivers are advised to heed the same recommendations. Use of the night setting on rearview mirrors can reduce glare from headlights approaching from the rear.

“The end of Daylight Saving Time can be risky for pedestrians, too,” said Mai. “Those walking and jogging need to remember that motorists may not always see them at night as well as they can in the late morning and early afternoon. Pedestrians can help by practicing safe behaviors, such as wearing light-colored clothing, and by being aware that drivers may be fighting sun glare in the early morning and late afternoon hours.”

AAA’s Night-Time Driving Tips

  • Keep headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows (inside and out) clean.
  • Make sure headlights are properly aimed. If they’re not, the lights can blind other drivers and reduce our ability to see the road.
  • If there is any doubt, turn your headlights on. Lights will not help you see better in early twilight, but they’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you.
  • Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. It is more difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night.
  • When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.
  • If an oncoming vehicle doesn’t lower its beams from high to low, avoid glare by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.
  • Do not drive while fatigued, drinking alcohol, or after taking medicines that can cause drowsiness.