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AAA urges drivers to prepare for Daylight Savings Time

Driving a Car
Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 15:23:21-05

As Daylight Savings Time approaches, AAA is reminding drivers to adjust their sleeping habits along with their clocks.

Time springing forward means a darker commute and the potential for more sleepy drivers on the road.

According to the AAA Foundation, drowsy driving is a factor in roughly ten times as many traffic fatalities as traditional crash data indicates.

“When the time changes, sleep cycles are interrupted and drivers can be more tired than they realize,” said Ragina C. Ali, AAA spokesperson in Maryland and Washington, D.C. “Losing one hour of sleep takes an adjustment and drivers need to prepare by getting more rest, especially on Sunday.”

When it comes to preparing for the loss of good shuteye, AAA is offering these tips to help drivers stay alert on the road:

  • Get enough sleep before driving. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.
  • Travel at times of the day when you are normally awake. Avoid driving when you are tired or sleepy.
  • Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles. Get out of the car, stretch your legs, and get fresh air. Plan and identify safe, comfortable places to take breaks. Don’t wait until you’re already feeling drowsy.
  • Avoid heavy meals before driving. Eating a large meal can make you feel tired and sluggish.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. Both can impair your driving ability. Besides harming driving directly, they can also amplify drowsiness.
  • Listen to your body. If you start to feel tired, pull over and take a break. Don't try to push through it. 
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving. Sharing the driving can help you stay awake and alert.
  • Don't underestimate the power of a quick nap. A 20- to 30-minute nap can significantly improve your alertness.