Feeling a little tired today? If so, you could be one of the millions of Americans still struggling to adjust to the time change on Sunday.
The loss of an hour of sleep, coupled with the change in daylight hours, means motorists may potentially experience drowsy driving and added distractions on the road, according to AAA.
“This annual rite of clock shock signals the beginning of the end of the long, cold winter,” said Chuck Mai, a spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “But because the shifting of that one hour changes our sleep patterns, fatigued driving is a real possibility.”
Also, since the sun will be setting an hour later, it’s likely children, joggers, walkers and bicyclists will be outdoors longer, increasing their exposure and risk.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, these are signs that you’re too tired to drive and need to pull over:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable.
Here are some additional Daylight Saving Time driving tips from AAA:
- In the early morning, watch out for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
- Leave more following room. When the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing.
- Invest in polarized sunglasses — they can help reduce glare.
- Utilize your sun visor, which can help to block out the sun.
- Be mindful of more children and others who are outdoors in the lighter evening hours.
- Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Don’t pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Pay attention and eliminate all distractions, including car clocks that are off an hour. Adjust the clock when you're not driving.
To view a video report on Daylight Saving Time driving dangers, click on the photo or link below the headline.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet