BOISE – As Americans make the switch to daylight savings time, AAA reminds drivers to be extra careful during the early morning hours.  Many children are walking to school in the dark or waiting at bus stops as part of phased re-openings.  Drivers are encouraged to stay alert in areas where children are present.

“Please compensate for reduced visibility by slowing down and increasing your following distance behind another vehicle, and keep your eyes moving,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Actively scanning the road can prevent crashes and save lives.”

AAA says that over time, heat and direct sunlight can cause the film on headlight lenses to yellow or become cloudy, blocking up to 80 percent of the available light from shining on the road ahead.  A simple lens polishing kit from an auto parts store can restore headlight lenses to near-perfect condition.

“As it gets warmer, people start thinking about taking a road trip, and that might involve getting an early start or driving late at night,” Conde said.  “Make sure you get plenty of rest so that you can remain focused and vigilant, even when there aren’t a lot of other cars on the road.  A collision with a wild animal can cause extensive vehicle damage and result in serious injury.”

According to AAA Foundation research, drivers who have slept for less than 5 hours have a crash risk comparable to that of a drunk driver.  Never rely on your body to provide warning signs of drowsiness and prioritize getting at least seven hours of sleep before hitting the road.