AUSTIN (KXAN) — Friday night’s drive home from work will be the last few with daylight before the clock falls back this weekend.
Next week, the time change will take some getting used to for drivers during the morning and evening rush hour.
For the next four months, many will be driving to work in the daylight but driving home in the dark.
“When you’re looking at the morning commute. One of the biggest concerns from a traffic safety standpoint is the time change and the disturbance that can cause to sleep patterns,” said Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas.
AAA Texas said if you get less than five hours of sleep and then get behind the wheel, it can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
“And so it’s so important to make sure that you get plenty of sleep when you get behind the wheel,” said Armbruster.
During the evening commute, drivers will need to get used to driving home in the dark or some cases, directly into the sunset.
“Especially if you’re driving into the West, in your commute. So, the light change can have an effect on us. It can cause us to be more drowsy because the sun’s going down seemingly earlier,” said Armbruster.
And keep an eye out for those sharing the road using alternative transportation.
“Especially in a city like Austin, where you have a lot of pedestrians. A lot of cyclists, that time change can also make it just harder to see pedestrians and cyclists in general,” said Armbruster.
For that reason, the City of Austin Vision Zero staff is conducting outreach to commuters on Monday morning at two high-injury intersections.
From 7 to 9 a.m., they’ll be at Cameron Rd and St Johns Avenue, as well as Parker Lane and East Riverside Drive, reminding drivers of the time change and reduced visibility during the evening commute.
If you will be counting down to the Spring Forward time change, that will happen March 10, 2024.