AAA offers Daylight Saving Time safety tips

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – While the weather may not feel like spring, this weekend serves as a reminder that warmer weather is only a few weeks away.

Sunday at 2 a.m. it’s time to spring ahead by setting clocks forward by one hour.

While the extra hour of daylight in the evenings is a welcome treat to many, the first few days can be a rough adjustment following the lost hour of sleep.

“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Diana Imondi, AAA Northeast Manager of Traffic Safety Programs. “Some drivers may suddenly find themselves driving into the rising or setting sun and there may be more sun glare during commuting hours.”

Recent studies have shown that drowsy driving has a greater impact than previously thought. New data shows that it is a factor in 10 percent of crashes. With sleep patterns interrupted by the time change, AAA said more drivers could be tired as they hit the roads next week.

AAA’s suggestions for drivers include:

  • In the morning, watch for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways. Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
  • Leave more following room. When the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing.
  • Watch out for children and others who are outdoors in the lighter evening hours.
  • Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

Pedestrians should also be mindful of safety and should prepare for darker morning hours.

To stay safe, AAA suggests that pedestrians do the following:

  • Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
  • Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
  • See and be seen. Carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing and/or accessories.
  • Don’t walk and text. If you must use your cell phone, be sure to keep your eyes on traffic and your ears open to make sure you can hear approaching danger.