Safe Communities announced today that there have been 11 fatal crashes to date compared to the 11 last year at this time.
As the end of the year approaches, we are now reaching the time of the year everyone enjoys Daylight Savings Time. However, this one-hour change may have negative effects when it comes to road safety. According to the National Safety Council, the risk of being in a fatal crash is three times greater at night. Therefore, with night approaching sooner and the days getting shorter, please take extra caution when driving in the dark.
Along with being more cautious at night, every driver should know the warning signs of, and how to avoid, drowsy driving. Having trouble keeping your head up, nodding off, veering into another lane or onto the rumble strip, and frequent yawning — are all signals that you are too drowsy to drive safely.
Drowsy driving is estimated to contribute to 1.2 million collisions annually, resulting in potentially 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year. Despite these risks, experts agree that drowsy driving is far too prevalent. Lack of sleep slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and increases the risk of dozing off while driving.
As we fall back and head towards winter, follow these tips to reduce accidents after the clocks change:
- Keep your regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time you normally would, so you can benefit from that extra hour of sleep.
- Before you pull out of the driveway, clean your headlights, brake lights and signal lights.
- Give yourself plenty of time, time to get where you need or want to go.
- Approach all crosswalks, intersections and transit stops with caution, as it will be harder to see pedestrians and cyclists
- Heed the speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly to the weather conditions.
- Maintain a safe following distance so you’re prepared to react under any situation