We "fell back" last weekend; and while that may have bought you an extra hour of sleep on Sunday, you were probably shocked to find it getting dark at 5 p.m. Daylight savings time brings winter, shorter days and longer nights -- which means you'll likely be driving in the dark a lot more.

Here are our top tips for making sure you stay safe as you navigate the dark:

1. Check your vision

Even if you have 20/20 vision, you'll find your depth perception isn’t as keen at night. If you do wear glasses or contacts, make sure you're wearing the correct prescription and strength. Also -- watch the entire road, not just certain objects. Head and tail lights can be blinding, so scan the road as you're driving to get a sense of the whole picture.

2. Be aware of your surroundings
If you're driving in the country or on back roads, watch out for animals or slick, leaf-covered surfaces. Meanwhile, in residential or school zones, drive slowly and watch out for pedestrians -- especially kids.

3. Check your headlights
Make sure all of your lights work before you hit the roads. It's easy to miss a burned-out taillight -- until it's too late. Making sure your lights work will ensure other cars see you.

4. Clean your car!
Use this as an excuse for a little fall cleaning. Make sure your windshield is clean (use a little Windex); remove potentially distracting rear-window hangings (that air freshener can go somewhere else!) or items on your dashboard.

5. Pay attention.
Don't be a distracted driver. Don't text and drive. Drive a little slower in residential areas. Pay attention to your surroundings.

Be careful on the roads this fall! And it goes without saying, but make sure your insurance is up-to-date. We are happy to help with any questions you may have!

Photo credit: 1. epSos.de, Driving cars in a traffic jam
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