Sunday marks the unofficial start to spring when Daylight Saving Time begins.
Losing an hour of sleep may not seem like a big deal, but changes to sleeping patterns can be dangerous. Drowsy driving contributed to an estimated 91,000 crashes and 795 fatalities in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
You can help prevent drowsy driving-related crashes. Prepare for the time change by going to bed early for a few days before Daylight Saving Time begins.
Being a safe driver is another simple step that can help avoid crashes, injuries and fatalities. More daylight hours means more people out walking, biking and jogging. This means drivers need to be extra alert, avoid distractions and slow down for safety.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Beware of sun glare. Ensuring your windows are clean can help improve visibility.
- Avoid distractions and be extra alert for people out and about.
- Follow posted speed limits and slow down in areas were there are a lot of people walking or biking.
- Stop for people in crosswalks and crossing at intersections, it’s the law in New Jersey.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks, they are likely stopped to allow people to cross.
- Share the road and don’t pass too close to cyclists. Pass them as you would any other vehicle, moving into an adjacent lane when it is safe to do so.
Safety Tips for People Walking
- Cross in marked crosswalks or at intersections. Avoid crossing between parked vehicles, where drivers may not see you.
- Wait for the walk sign at signalized intersections. Even if the traffic light changes, opposing traffic may have a turn signal that you cannot see. The walk sign indicates when it’s safest to cross.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk against traffic so you can see approaching vehicles.
- Put down your phone and look for traffic before stepping into the road. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
- Always ride with the flow of traffic.
- Obey traffic signs, signals and road markings, just like motor vehicles.
- Equip your bike with a bell, and add a light if riding at night. New Jersey law requires both.
- Pass pedestrians with care, announcing you are passing verbally or use a bell.