Daylight Savings and Deer Rut, what it means to drivers

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in The Daily Drive

Don’t forget to set your clocks back… it’s coming.  Sunday the 6th of November at 2:00 AM, we all set our clocks back one hour.  It’s Daylight Savings Time!

Outside of the obvious frustration of trying to reset your car’s clock, if your car does not do it for you,  there are some very real and distinct changes taking place around you.

To start, the obvious, the days are shorter, the nights are longer.   We are more nervous at night as drivers and with good reason.   Our vision of what is in front of us is greatly reduced and so to is our reaction time.    According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive commissioned by Sylvania, 90% of licensed drivers who drive after dark are worried about potential nighttime hazards.

One thing we do not commonly associate with Daylight Savings Time is the how it coincides with Deer rut.   Typically, November 1 through November 25 represents the peak primary breeding phase for deer.    Male deer are more aggressive and have increased range as they follow female deer.  There are more deer out, they are more active and the odds of a deer and vehicle incident are greatly increased.

Rut, shorter days, longer nights and the transition from fall to winter all indicate the need for a little extra diligence with respect to speed and ensuring your vehicles maintenance is update.

Your headlights are fairly important to assist with the navigation of the transition to Daylight Savings Time, the increased darkness and potential obstacles represent by deer in rut.

SYLVANIA offers some great suggestions with respect to your headlights:

“Check your headlights by parking on a level surface facing five feet from a building wall or your garage door, then turn on your headlights. If the circles of light are bright and white, they are in good, working condition. Yellow or dim lights should be replaced.

Change headlight bulbs in pairs. Because bulbs dim over time, the new one will likely be brighter than the old one, causing an uneven field of illumination. This can be distracting to both the driver and to oncoming traffic.

If the lenses on a vehicle’s headlights are cloudy, consider a headlight restoration kit, which restores headlights to like-new condition and light output. The SYLVANIA kit includes a unique UV Block Clear Coat that protects headlights from further UV damage. After use, motorists should see a significant improvement as the product enables up to three times more light to shine on the road.” 

These types of tips can help ensure you have the utmost illumination of obstacles in front of you.   The video below from DefensiveDriving.com also contains some highlights of why the longer, darker nights of daylight savings time are more dangerous, along with some tips as to what you can do as a driver to decrease the risks involved with driving at night.

Remember to set your clocks back this Sunday and you do not need a ticket to take one of DefensiveDriving.com’s online driver safety courses, our courses are good for discounts for auto insurance in New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Florida!

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