Turning clocks back means it's time to pay extra attention to the road

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The upcoming Halloween weekend marks the end of daylight saving time. At 2:00 a.m. Sunday, clocks will be moved back one hour. The extra hour of daylight in the evening will be lost until March 2016, meaning that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists will have to pay extra attention to their surroundings as night approaches.

For many, the time change means their commute home or evening activities will now take place at dusk or after sunset. The N.C. Department of Transportation says there are simple ways to improve your safety and the safety of those sharing the road with you.

Tips for motorists:

  • Make sure your headlights are on and your lights and windshield (including the inside) are cleaned and clear.

  • Adjust your headlights so they are aimed properly. Headlights that point the wrong way can reduce your visibility or blind other drivers.

  • Protect your eyes from glare by removing sunglasses when dusk approaches, allowing your eyes to adapt to darkness before driving, and using the "night" setting on your rearview mirror.

  • If you are blinded by light from an oncoming vehicle, look down and toward the right edge of the road.

  • Be mindful of using your high beams when sharing the road, and quickly switch to low beams around other vehicles and pedestrians.

  • Slow down and leave more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, especially on unlit or winding roads, to allow more reaction time.

  • Pay extra attention to the possibility of pedestrians, cyclists, and animals along the roadway.


Tips for pedestrians and cyclists:

  • Pedestrians should walk facing traffic so they can see oncoming vehicles.

  • Cyclists should travel in the same direction as other vehicles.

  • In addition to wearing brightly-colored, reflective, or fluorescent clothing, put reflective strips on items you are carrying.

  • When crossing at a traffic signal, remember to look right and left. Don't depend on the light or a crosswalk signal.

  • Avoid jaywalking or crossing a road between parked vehicles.

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