Daylight Savings Time & Driving Safety
This may sound a bit crazy but your morning commute for the next few days may be a bit risky. (No, we didn’t spot a full moon or walk under a ladder.) We want to provide some helpful information regarding daylight savings and the risk that it places on all drivers.
According to a study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep 6 to 7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping eight hours or more. Individuals who sleep less than 5 hours increased their chance by five times. The foundation has found that more than 250,000 people fall asleep at the wheel—even if it is for a microsecond.
Therefore, while you think you may not be affected by the time change—THINK AGAIN!
A person’s sleep cycle is extremely important to their health and when this is altered it can take a toll on every day mundane tasks. Often times we are a bit sluggish and drowsy in the days following a small time change—but the dangers can be vast. Lack of sleep impairs driving ability. This is a known fact!
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2001 Sleep in America poll, nearly three quarters (71%) of Americans were driving a car to and from work in a drowsy state. These numbers only skyrocket when a time change goes into effect.
Traffic safety experts advise motorists to be cautious when driving while tired, and to pull over and take a nap. The truth is, our bodies need to adjust to the time change and we need to provide that to ourselves. Therefore, take into account the following suggestions for “springing ahead”:
- Put your HEALTH first.
- Prepare your vehicle for darker driving conditions. Make sure all front and rear lights are working properly.
- Be aware of other drivers.
- Be a conscientious pedestrian.
So as you are adjusting to the new time change, please don’t ignore the signs of fatigue or drowsiness. At Kaine Law, we are wishing you a safe and alert drive for the coming days!