(© Can Stock Photo / Bialasiewicz)(© Can Stock Photo / Bialasiewicz)

Time change prompts safety message from CAA

With this weekend's change to standard time, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is offering safety tips for drivers and pedestrians.

Although we're getting an extra hour of sleep on Sunday, the change can still impact people's alertness.

Community Relations Consultant Michael Stewart said the winter months bring reduced daylight and visibility.

"Thirty minutes before sunset, and thirty minutes after sunrise is when you should have your full vehicle lights on," said Stewart. "If you are a pedestrian, especially this time of year, make sure that you remain on the sidewalk, only cross at designated crossings, and always be aware of your surroundings. If you can, wear bright and reflective clothing. You can visit a CAA store and pick up a free reflector tag. Those little markers can go on jackets or backpacks to increase visibility at this time of the year."

Stewart said Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of Transportation data show an increase in crashes in the days following a time change. He says if you're feeling drowsy behind the wheel, pull over and take a break.

Signs of fatigue can include the inability to recall the last few kilometers driven, having disconnected or wandering thoughts, and difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.

Meanwhile, fire departments are also using the occasion to remind residents to change the batteries in their smoke and CO alarms.

It is the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of a home and outside of all sleeping areas.

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