Sunday’s Spring Forward to Daylight Saving Time Brings Risks Behind Wheel
It’ll be annoying to lose an hour of sleep when the nation’s clocks move forward an hour for the start of daylight saving time this Sunday. But according to AAA and other driving experts, grumpiness could be the least of your worries.
Research indicates that drivers double their crash risk when they subtract one or two hours of sleep from the amount they need in a 24-hour period. With the DST shift, millions of drivers could potentially be dealing with sleep deprivation and disrupted internal clocks when they head in to work Monday morning.
Thanks to the time change, many of them will also be driving in the dark — which only compounds the risk.
What’s the best way to stay safe on the road as you and other drivers adjust to DST? Here are a few tips.
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As you adjust to the time change, make sure you’re giving yourself the opportunity to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night. This is especially important if you’re already behind on sleep.
Beware of Drowsy Driving
Are you yawning or having a hard time keeping your eyes open as you drive? If so, pull over as soon as possible and get some rest. Other warning signs for drowsy driving include swerving out of your lane, failure to keep up with traffic, and an inability to remember the last several miles you drove.
Even if you’re feeling chipper behind the wheel next week, you’ll be surrounded by other drivers who aren’t — so drive defensively. Stay focused and aware of your surroundings, keep your speed in check, and maintain plenty of separation between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.