SOURCE: Auto Club of So. Calif.

March 09, 2007 05:00 ET

Auto Club Advises Extra Driving Caution During Switch to Daylight-Saving Time; More Pedestrians and Children Will Be Outside During Evening Commute

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 9, 2007 -- This year, daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, three weeks earlier than in past years. The Automobile Club of Southern California recommends that during the first weeks of the time change motorists use additional caution, adjust their driving habits and watch for more people outdoors in the evenings.

Many more pedestrians, joggers, children, walkers and bicyclists will be outside running, playing and exercising because of the longer daylight hours during the evening commute, according to the Auto Club. The Auto Club recommends that motorists drive slower and be extra alert, particularly in residential neighborhoods and school zones. This is especially important with pedestrian fatalities numbering 770 and pedestrian injuries reaching 14,472 statewide in 2005 (the most recent figures available.)

Motorists should be prepared to face reduced visibility during the morning commute. "The morning commute will be darker so drivers can expect impaired visibility," said Kathy Downing, the Auto Club's Manager of Driver Services. "Drivers may need to turn on their headlights, if you begin your commute early in the morning hours, and then turn the headlights off when you reach your destination."

Early morning sun may also cause reflections off car windows, hoods or other metallic portions of automobiles and can be a serious hazard, she added. "The glare may cause temporary blindness. To reduce glare, invest in and wear high-quality sunglasses and adjust your car's sun visors as needed," Downing said. "Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so the same recommendations apply."

In addition to adjusting their commuting habits for daylight-saving time, the Auto Club also recommends that drivers wear their seat belts and be sure that all passengers are buckled up. Small children should be secured safely in the backseats of vehicles.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Carol Thorp/Elaine Beno
    (714) 885-2333