Experts say the move to Daylight Saving Time last weekend will help reduce traffic accidents. Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says the extra hour of daylight in the late afternoon helps drivers.
Rader says a five-year institute study found 900 fatal crashes nationwide would have been prevented if Daylight Saving Time was year-round.
“Because you’re extending the daylight into the late afternoon when traffic, particularly pedestrian traffic, is the highest,” Rader says. “By making cars and people more visible, you reduce crashes.”
Rader says the number of traffic accidents during the morning commute increase during Daylight Saving Time, as skipping ahead an hour means some Iowans will drive their morning commute in the dark.
Iowa Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Jessica Lown says Iowa drivers should be especially cautious on the morning commute.
“If you’re used to driving during the daylight when you have a little more visibility, certainly take that into consideration,” Lown says. “Give your eyes some time to adjust to the different lighting. Make sure you’re always checking you mirrors and you have your lights on, all those things you are supposed to do when you driving in the dark.”
Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 6th.