Clocks fall back an hour on Sunday morning, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time. While an hour might not seem like a long time, it can be enough to mess up your sleep pattern, which can lead to drowsy driving. The time change means it will also get dark earlier, requiring drivers to travel with extra care.
An estimated 91,000 crashes are attributed to drowsy driving each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2019, 679 people were killed in drowsy driving-related crashes.
Drowsy driving is often compared to drunk driving because it leads to impairment similar to alcohol consumption. Loss of sleep can affect reaction times, leading drivers to run off the road or crash.
Start preparing for the time change now by going to bed earlier over the next few days.
With the days getting shorter, it’s especially important to keep safety in mind when driving. Help keep our roads safer by following these tips:
- Avoid distractions and be extra alert when driving, especially at dusk and in the dark.
- Come to a full stop before reaching a crosswalk or intersection and look for people trying to cross before proceeding.
- Slow down for safety. If a crash occurs, it’s less likely to be fatal when cars are travelling at slower speeds. It’s also easier to quickly stop a moving vehicle when it’s traveling at a slower speed.