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Daylight Saving Time Ends: Fall Back – Safely

With shorter days and cooler temperatures, fall is officially here. On Sunday, November 1, daylight saving time (DST) will end at 2:00 a.m. At which time we will “fall back,” and turn our clocks back one hour. 

Prior to 2006, DST would occur a few days before Halloween. DST was changed when studies revealed that children pedestrian deaths were four times higher on Halloween then on any other holiday. While the cause was mostly due to children’s increased presence on the streets, it was also because of the lack of light and poor visibility caused by this lost hour of time. Therefore in 2007, DST was moved to occur after the holiday in early November.
 
Decreased visibility is just one of the ways that pedestrian and driver safety is at risk when DST occurs. Below are four tips from the experienced attorneys at Hupy and Abraham to avoid accidents and remain alert once we lose that hour of light, and gain an hour of sleep.
 
  1. Stay alert: The combination of potentially drowsy drivers and dusk falling during the general commute hours often correlates with an increase in traffic and pedestrian accidents. At dusk and in the dark, our color recognition and peripheral vision are compromised. Therefore, it is very important to be alert and conscientious while driving during this transitional period in the season.
     
  2. Don’t oversleep: While that extra hour of sleep may feel beneficial, the earlier setting of the sun coupled with changed waking times can disrupt our body’s natural rhythms. This can contribute to a sluggish or drowsy feeling that often affects some people for several days.  Be sure not to incur a “sleep debt” before the time change, and try to keep your schedule as normal as possible.
     
  3. Make yourself and/or your vehicle visible: With dusk and darkness coming earlier, it is important for drivers to remember to turn on headlights, or use low-beam or running lights on overcast days to improve visibility, and not drive while using interior dome lights. If you’re a bicyclist, motorcycle rider, or general pedestrian, consider utilizing reflective clothing and accessories.
     
  4. Use the extra time to update other safety necessities: Many people use the fall DST as an opportunity to prepare for the winter months. Use DST as a reminder to check and replace batteries in fire/smoke alarms, update home security systems, construct emergency car kits and perform maintenance on vehicles to get them ready for frequent night driving and coming winter weather.

As DST approaches, we hope that you and your family experience a safe transition. If you would like to help spread awareness about pedestrian safety, you can get a FREE Watch for Pedestrians bumper sticker here, just in time for Halloween and DST!

If you or a loved one experience an accident during daylight saving time due to a negligent driver’s actions, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham for a free consultation at 800-800-5678, or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.