Clocks spring forward Sunday morning marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and the unofficial start to spring. The additional daylight hours encourage children and adults to spend more time playing, walking, cycling and jogging outdoors. With more people out and about, drivers need to be extra alert and watch for people walking and cycling.
The first week of Daylight Saving Time can be dangerous because of the changes to sleeping patterns. Drowsy driving contributes to an average of 83,000 crashes annually and results in more than 800 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers who sleep less than five hours each night are six times more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving-related crash than drivers who get eight or more hours of sleep, according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.
Prepare for the time change. Help your body adjust by going to bed earlier on the nights leading up to Daylight Saving Time. Here are some additional safety tips for Daylight Saving Time:
Safety Tips for People Driving
- The time change can mean you’re driving in sun glare. Make sure your windows are clean and be extra alert for fellow motorists and people walking or cycling.
- Expect more children and adults to be outside. Slow down and help make the streets safer for everyone.
- Stop for people in crosswalks and those crossing at intersections, it’s the law in New Jersey. And do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Avoid distractions when you’re behind the wheel — Heads Up, Phones Down.
Safety Tips for People Walking
- Use Crosswalks. When no crosswalks are present, cross from corner to corner. Do not cross between parked vehicles.
- Wait for the walk. If there is no traffic signal, make sure it’s clear to cross. Look left, right and then left again before crossing.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk against traffic so drivers can see you more clearly.
- Avoid distractions — Heads Up, Phones Down. If you’re looking at your phone you may not see a car approaching.