How The End Of Daylight Savings Time Impacts Your Vision

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- It's time to turn your clocks back an hour, but the end of daylight savings time means we'll spend an extra hour behind the wheel in darkness.

Police say that's one of the most dangerous times on the road.

So some experts suggest making an appointment with your eye doctor and that’s exactly what some East Tennesseans, such as Betty Dunwoody had in mind.

It says Prada's on the label, but her new glasses make more than a seasonal fashion statement, this time of year, they could save her life.

"I can't see the highway or the street too well," said Dunwoody, who has even worse problems at night. “It's dark at the cars that are coming at you, the lights are so bright, they blare in your face."

"Our worst accidents are at night," said John Mays from the Knoxville Police Department.

Turning back the clock for daylight savings means it could be time for trouble on the road.

"At night the pupils dilate in response to lack of light,” said Dr. Lacey Puckett, an Optometrist with LensCrafters, “when the pupil dilates you'll notice more distortions."

Dr. Puckett says that means big, blurry and bright problems.

"Trying to find your exits, changing lanes, reading street signs, any of that," she said.

Now that the sun will set sooner to rush hour.

"When it's getting dark around 5:00, 5:30 you've put the entire population of Knoxville pretty much trying to scramble home," said Andrew Keith from KPD.

A scramble in the dark that causes a 10 to 15 percent increase in the amount of crashes.

KPD says one of the major causes for night time crashes is when drivers get behind wheel, turn on their headlights and they overdrive them.

"That means you're driving too fast, past the vision of your headlights,” Mays said. “Your headlights shine about 30-40 feet and there might be another car or pedestrian beyond that."

So slow down and make sure your glasses aren't scratched, which according to Dr. Puckett can cause problems glare.

She also suggests getting your eyes check to clear up problems on the road.

Daylight savings takes effect at 2:00 AM Sunday morning, meaning you needed to set your clocks back one hour before you went to bed.

The change in time is also a great opportunity to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and work with your family to have an escape plan in case of a fire.

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