Home > Ask Gary > It’s Halloween and Daylight Savings Time, Please Drive Carefully in the Dark!

It’s Halloween and Daylight Savings Time, Please Drive Carefully in the Dark!

trickortreatNight2Tomorrow night is Halloween—a fun family night, bags full of candy for the children, photos of happy kids in costumes—but danger lurks in the dark neighborhoods, as tired workers finish their commute close to home.

Parents accompany small children and older children usually “trick or treat” with friends. This is a night where “safety in numbers” applies. The more people in a group, the easier it is to be seen. Be sure to have a flashlight and batteries for at least one person in each group, preferably for each child. Slow down as soon as you drive through neighborhoods in the dark.

October has been deemed “National Headlamp Month.” Maintaining a clear view of the road is important to safe driving no matter what the season, but fall means being more attentive to driver visibility. Driving without properly functioning headlights can be extremely dangerous. There are several innovative, technologically advanced replacement headlamps that can help significantly enhance your visibility. If all of your headlights and brake lights are not functioning properly, bring them in as soon as possible to the Jaffarian Volvo Service Department or the Jaffarian Toyota Scion Service Department.

VolvoNightDriveVolvo introduced its Active High Beam technology this year. The system allows drivers to use their high beams all the time and adds another responsibility to the cameras mounted by the rearview mirror, making them detect traffic ahead, whether it be another car or a truck or motorcycle and in the same lane or oncoming. When a vehicle is detected, a special projector in the lamps can block out only the portion of the high beam that would impair the other driver.

As a reminder, when you go to sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning, set your clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, November 3 at 2 a.m. The good news is we get an extra hour of sleep—or an extra on Sunday to get things done. The downside is that it will get dark an hour earlier, making drivers sleepy. The time change also causes daytime sleepiness, lost productivity at work and can even affect your health. Groggy people driving in the dark are more prone to accidents.

Light dictates how much melatonin our bodies produce. When it’s bright out, we make less. When it’s dark out, our body ramps up production of this sleep-inducing substance. (Many of you may even take melatonin supplements to help you relax and fall asleep.) Sleepy drivers are as disastrous on the road as driving under the influence of alcohol. Sleepy drivers tend to weave while driving and even can experience short blackouts. Stay alert by keeping the windows cracked, not cranking up the heat and keep the radio or a CD on at a high volume. Drinking water on the way home to stay hydrated is preferable, if not coffee, to help you stay alert.

By the way, remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors when you set your clocks back! And most of all, get plenty of sleep and drive safely! Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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