When Daylight Saving’s Time ended a few days ago, Americans turned back their clocks one hour. For many, the change was welcome as it afforded them one “extra” hour to sleep, enjoy leisure time or work last Sunday. However, the repercussions of ending Daylight Savings Time traditionally extend into the days and weeks after Americans “Fall Back.”

Because this time change immediately results in fewer daylight hours than usual, it can take some time for motorists, pedestrians, truckers, bikers and cyclists to adjust to the shift. As a result, Americans traditionally suffer an elevated rate of motor vehicle accidents during this transition. For the next few weeks in particular, it will be critical for you and your loved ones to be extra cautious when traveling.

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs recently explained the situation at hand when she noted that travelers are now experiencing, “shorter days, longer nights, and darkness settling in earlier than they have been used to for the last seven months. We’re reminding motorists of the potential driving hazards that low light or dark conditions bring especially as dusk falls. Twilight is one of the most challenging times to drive because your eyes are adjusting to the increasing darkness.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians are most at risk of being affected by the Fall Back transition, as the vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Please, whether you are now commuting in the dark by car, motorcycle, bike or by foot, be careful during this seasonal transition. Your life and the lives of others around you might depend on your vigilance.

Source: Baltimore News Journal, “AAA offers pedestrian safety tips as Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend,” Nov. 1, 2013

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