LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — The following is a press release from AAA Texas:
U.S. daylight-saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday when clocks are set back one hour. With the time change and shorter daylight hours, AAA Texas reminds motorists that time change can cause disturbed sleep patterns in drivers, which combined with earlier dusk and dark evening commutes, could lead to drowsy driving. In a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers found the impact of having drowsy drivers on the road is considerable. Researchers found that drivers who have slept fewer than five hours have a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk. And missing just one to two hours of sleep can nearly double the crash risk.
AAA Texas recommends drivers adjust their habits behind the wheel and watch for children and others outdoors who will be less visible, especially during the first weeks of the time change.
“To reduce the risk of drowsy driving in the days following the time change, drivers should get at least seven hours of sleep before hitting the road,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “AAA researchers have found that missing just one to two hours of sleep can nearly double the risk for a crash.”
Drivers should be aware that the morning sun may cause reflections off car windows, hoods or other metallic portions of automobiles and can be a serious hazard to drivers and pedestrians. In addition, children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists could be much less visible in the evenings.
AAA Texas recommends vehicle owners take the time to restore or replace deteriorated headlight lenses. With 50% of crashes occurring at night, drivers should check their headlights for signs of deterioration and invest in new headlights or, at a minimum, a low-cost headlight cleaning and restoration kit to boost the safety of driving after dark. Headlights can show signs of deterioration after 3 years but most commonly by year 5.
AAA Texas recommends the following tips for pedestrians:
- See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking or walking pets in the dark.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Do not rely on your body to provide warning signs for drowsiness. Instead prioritize getting at least seven hours of sleep before hitting the road.
- Travel at times of the day when you are normally awake.
- Avoid heavy foods.
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.
AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of independently owned motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the motorist and safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.
(Press release from AAA Texas)