As Daylight Savings Time is ends, use caution on the roads

Published 5:04 pm Saturday, November 4, 2023

On Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 a.m. clocks will jump back, and everyone will gain an hour of sleep. 

What does this mean for the evening commute from work and school? Less light, which could lead to drowsy driving as well as other driving risks. AAA Tidewater reminds motorists to use caution while everyone adjusts to the change, according to a news release.

“As our mornings and evenings get darker, AAA reminds road users to be extra attentive.” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “Whether you are behind the wheel, or using the road in another fashion, exercising caution during this transitional period is crucial.”

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According to AAA Foundation research:

  • An estimated 6% to 11% of all police-reported motor-vehicle crashes and 16% to 21% of fatal crashes likely involve drowsy driving.
  • Any sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours for adults is considered insufficient, and sleep deficiency may impair driving performance.
  • In a simulator study, sleep-deprived drivers had slower reaction times, were less attentive to their environment, and had impaired decision-making skills—all of which contributed to motor vehicle crashes.

AAA Tidewater recommends that drivers:

  • Should not rely on their bodies to provide warning signs for drowsiness and should instead prioritize getting at least seven hours of sleep before hitting the road.
  • Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake.
  • Avoid heavy foods.
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

AAA Tidewater recommends that pedestrians and bicyclists:

  • Make yourself as visible as possible – wear bright colors, reflective clothing and carry a light.
  • Cross at intersections or corners, not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
  • If there is no sidewalk available, walk against traffic.
  • Avoid listening to music or being distracted near roadways.