(WEHT) – Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on March 12, and AAA East Central advises motorists and pedestrians to make the proper adjustments for safer travel after the clocks “spring forward”.
“Drowsy driving” can be as dangerous as drunk driving, and research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers who do not get enough sleep put everyone on the road at risk. Crashes caused by driving while drowsy are almost eight times more common than indicated by federal estimates, as detecting drowsiness following a crash is difficult. Additionally, the CDC says that 35% of motorists in the U.S. sleep less than the minimum daily 7 hours that are recommended, which could be negatively effected by daylight saving time.
The most common symptoms of drowsy driving include:
- Trouble keeping your eyes open.
- Drifting from your lane.
- Not remembering the last few miles driven.
AAA East Central advises motorists to take the following steps before hitting the road after daylight savings:
- Plan for an extra hour of sleep.
- Avoid heavy foods before driving.
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairments.
- Schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles during longer trips.
Also, pedestrians should take these precautions to increase their safety while walking near roadways:
- Pay attention while walking, especially near cross walks.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing while walking at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Walk on the sidewalk.
- Walk facing traffic when sidewalks aren’t available.
- Only cross at intersections.
- Never run out from in between parked cars.