Just days ago, Americans sprung their clocks forward and added an hour of daylight to their daily routines. Unfortunately, that lost hour increases the risk of drowsy driving.
The time change tends to disrupt normal sleep patterns and can increase the chances of drivers getting behind the wheel while fatigued. According to sleep experts, it can take between one and two days for our bodies to adjust to the time change.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 2.5 percent of all fatal crashes and 2 percent of injury crashes involve drowsy driving. A study by the National Sleep Foundation also found that about 25 percent of transportation workers admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance.
Although there is no surefire way to adjust to daylight savings, there are a few changes to trying in an effort to adjust more easily:
- Go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual.
- Wake up at your usual weekday time or even 15 to 30 minutes earlier.
- Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before you intend to go to sleep.
- In the mornings, turn lights on and open the blinds or curtains to get your day started.
Those who drive in the early mornings should do as much as they can to ensure that they are alert before they hit the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drowsy or negligent driver, contact an auto accident lawyer right away.