Nation's Top Traffic Safety Official Urges Travelers To Take Care With Change To Standard Time
Topics: Ricardo Martinez
October 7, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday October 7, 1998
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550
The nation's top traffic safety official today reminded travelers that Sunday, Oct. 25, ends daylight savings time and urged travelers to take special safety precautions when traveling at dawn and dusk.
"Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," said Ricardo Martinez, M.D., head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "The transition from daylight savings time means it will be darker during peak travel, so simple precautions like turning on your headlights can improve safety by preventing crashes."
Nearly half of all fatal pedestrian crashes and almost one-third of fatal bicyclist crashes occur in low-light or dark conditions, Dr. Martinez said. He offered the following safety tips, many related to improving the ability to see and be seen, for motorists and pedestrians to "fall back" on:
* Adjust the rearview mirror to the "night" setting to avoid headlight glare.
* Wipe off your headlights and keep your windshield clean (inside and out).
* Take off your sunglasses at dusk.
* Don't drive at speeds that are unsafe, especially on unlit or winding roads and when using low beams.
* Be mindful when using high beams. Be sure that they are turned off when another car approaches.
Dr. Martinez offered the following safety tips to pedestrians and bicyclists:
* Consider wearing a brightly-colored scarf or hat. Wearing darker "fall" colors can make it hard for motorists to see you, especially if they aren't expecting you.
* Consider wearing reflective or fluorescent gear so that you remain visible to motorists.
* "Look left-right and then left again" before stepping off the curb. The rule is a good one! Don't depend on just the traffic signal and remember that motorists driving home in the evening also will be making an adjustment to nighttime travel.
* Avoid jaywalking and crossing from between parked vehicles. Crosswalks offer a safer, more visible pedestrian environment.
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