DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — With Daylight Saving Time this weekend, AAA is warning drivers of drowsy driving when they have to adjust their clocks. AAA said since drivers are losing an hour of sleep, many drivers will not be as fully alert as they drive to work or school.
“A change in time can affect people physically and drivers can be more tired than they realize,” said AAA Spokeswoman Cindy Antrican. “That lost hour of sleep can be a big deal, especially if we’ve been short on sleep over the weekend. Motorists need to prepare in advance for the time change by increasing sleep time in the days ahead and getting a good night’s sleep on Sunday.”
According to AAA, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those sleeping eight hours or more, while people sleeping less than five hours increase their risk four to five times. AAA said more than 250,000 people fall asleep at the wheel.
“When the clocks change — whether it is falling back or springing forward, peoples’ sleep cycles are interrupted, and when sleep cycles are interrupted, they tend to be drowsy,” said Antrican.
AAA says some police departments have reported a 10 percent increase in crashes during the spring ahead time change.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year.
AAA says the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon also means there will be more people out on the streets later. AAA warns to slow down, pay attention, and eliminate distractions.