Did you know that the typical Monday morning commute after March’s Daylight Saving Time (DST) sees 16% more accidents than normal?
The loss of sleep isn’t all to blame for this rise, either. Because we roll our clocks forward an hour, many of us must drive at dawn, while everyone else is forced to deal with a sunrise smack dab in the middle of morning rush hour. For instance, instead of a 6:30 AM sunrise, we’re privileged to see Mother Nature wake up at 7:30 AM (and if you’re driving eastward from, say, Tamiami to Miami, then Godspeed, retinas).
Daylight Saving Time will be here before you know it. Are you prepared to “spring forward” this year? Follow along as we get into the nitty-gritty of dawn driving the day after DST. Here are 10 tips to help you stay safer on the road.
Stay Protected With These Spring Forward Tips
10. Modify your normal routine.
You’re starting your workday an hour earlier, so don’t expect your normal morning routine and ritual to go off without a hitch. Change things up. Make a small adjustment to give yourself more time to drive. For instance, ditch the hair gel and let your scalp live au naturel for the day. No one’s going to judge you, and you can always go back to the gel on Tuesday if you feel too naked.
9. Keep your driving distance.
The morning commute post-Daylight Saving is hard on just about everyone. Reaction times are dulled due to lack of sleep. Eyesight is poor due to dawn driving. The shine and reflections from the rising sun can be temporarily blinding. In essence, there may be a lot of angry, cursing drivers on Monday morning, so keep a good spacing between you and the flow of traffic.
Don’t just rely on yourself to keep a safe distance. A car with adaptive cruise control can help you maintain that set distance, even when traffic grinds to a halt. Take the new Honda CR-V Hybrid, for example. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow enabled, your CR-V adjusts its speed to match traffic; if your SUV has to stop at lower speeds, like during rush-hour traffic, it’ll do so automatically. Just tap on the accelerator to reactivate ACC. Rinse. Repeat.
8. Don’t get distracted.
About 14% of all fatal car crashes are caused by a distracted driver. With a phone in your hand, you’re 23 times more likely to get in an accident. Why increase your risk the morning after Daylight Saving Time, when drivers are already more apt to get in a collision?
Put your phone away. Those texts can wait.
7. Let speeders pass.
People are going to be running late because they didn’t prepare for Daylight Saving Time like you did. Just behind texting and inebriation, speeding is the most likely cause of dangerous accidents. If someone’s riding your bumper, calmy move into the other lane and let them pass. Don’t take the extra risk.
6. Bring those sunglasses.
Sun. Eyes. Blinded. Boom — accident. Don’t leave home without a pair of sunglasses, preferably some that offer great UV protection.
What sunglasses are best to block the sun and UV rays? Look for UV400 products that offer protection from UVA and UVB, as well as driving sunglasses with polarized lenses to help reduce glare.
5. Check your car insurance.
Make a habit of checking your auto insurance rates and policy every time you spring forward. You might be overpaying for lackluster protection that won’t fully cover a Daylight Saving car crash.
4. Clean your car & windows.
A dirty windshield will amplify glare, making it feel like you’re driving on the surface of the sun. Get a good car wash and full interior detailing on Daylight Saving weekend.
If you’d rather go with a DIY windshield cleaning, here are some tips to help:
- In a vertical pattern, wipe the inside of the windshield with a dry microfiber cloth.
- Apply rubbing alcohol (70%+) to another clean microfiber cloth, then follow the same pattern and wipe the windshield with it. The alcohol helps remove grease and other oils.
- Spray glass cleaner on the other side of your cloth — not directly on the windshield — and wipe down the window in a circular motion.
- Dry the glass naturally. If there are streaks, you can follow the same steps above or try a Magic Eraser to get rid of them. Do not use newspaper; newspaper can drag grit and dirt across the window, causing scratches.
While you’re at it, when’s the last time you changed your wiper blades? Might be time to do that, which will surely help prevent outside windshield streaking.
3. Be on the lookout for children and school buses.
It will be darker out than you’re used to, and that will make it more difficult to spot children crossing the street. Drive slowly in school zones and neighborhoods, and always stop for school buses.
2. Get your “Z”s early.
Try not to drive drowsy — it’s one of the leading cases of collisions. We know you want to binge those Snowpiercer episodes, but maybe skip one and hit the hay an hour early on Sunday night. Your brain, and perhaps even your front bumper, will thank you.
1. Headlights: Use ‘em.
If you leave for work before 7:00 AM, it’s going to be dark outside. In your haze, you might forget to switch your headlights on. Don’t. Flip that lever and be seen.
To make things simpler and for added peace of mind, you can also rely on your Honda Accord’s Auto High-Beam Headlights to help you adjust to the time changes. Working alongside Honda Sensing features, these innovative headlights react responsively to the road and traffic ahead, automatically dimming themselves when other vehicles are detected.
Drive Safe, Miami.
Whether you own a new Honda Accord or an old jalopy, we hope you stay safe this Daylight Saving Time. If you need any more advice or want to see how your driveway would look with a 2021 CR-V Hybrid in it, give one of our South Florida Honda Dealers a call. We have Honda dealerships all throughout the Miami area, and they’re all equipped to help.
Find your nearest Honda dealer in South Florida today!