Time’s Changing For Drivers – Beware Drowsiness!
Turning the Clock Back
It’s that time of year again when nature’s clock is changing the hours of light and dark. Soon we will be setting our clocks forward.
Benjamin Franklin suggested the idea back in 1784, as a way to economize on sunlight and burn fewer candles during winter mornings and nights, but the practice did not become steadily official in the United States until Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, with the same intention of saving energy. (Citation, infra.)
This time of year is when you need to get extra rest because of the change in the times of dusk and dawn. It’s sleep awareness time since this change can make a difference in travelling to and from work or doing simple errands.
When the clocks change there will be an hour difference, but for a driver it can mean leaving for a job in the dark or just as it is beginning to get light. Then coming home it can be nearing dusk after a long day. The sun can also be a factor as it sets for drivers.
What is Fall Back?
The old adage is fall back in spring forward. This is a time of year when we fall back, which means we lose an hour of sleep when the clock changes. Michael Ehline, Esquire a Los Angeles car accident attorney said this one hour makes a big difference to drivers. Especially, for people that work night shifts or are commercial drivers who every year feel the effects of the time change.
The loss of the hour can make drivers feel drowsy and affect their reaction time. In addition, judgment can be impaired and vision. Drivers involved in a crash because they fall asleep risk police infractions that can cause loss of their license.
Drowsy Drivers a Major Cause of Accidents?
Every year drivers who become drowsy cause thousands of accidents. In order to combat this, some states have installed thousands of miles of rumble strips on highways. These strips are bumps in the road to deter drowsiness. This may reduce some crashes, but there are still thousands yearly by tired drivers.
Ehline said drivers often open their windows, turn on the air conditioning, or turn up the radio in an effort to help them stay awake. The lawyer said it doesn’t work as an effective method for drowsiness usually. He said they still see many crashes and rear-end accidents causing injury to the driver or another person.
What are Some Driver Tips?
The Los Angeles car crash lawyer urges drivers to get proper rest now so when the clocks change they won’t feel the sleepy effects of Daylight Savings Time.
Ehline offers a few tips for drivers:
- Almost all Americans do not get the 8 hours of sleep recommended every night. It is important to make sure to get the right amount of sleep this time of year.
- Medications may cause drowsiness, whether it is prescription or over the counter. It is important to know the side effects of any medications. Even something as simple as an over the counter allergy medication, know if it causes drowsiness.
- Take breaks if driving long distances. Take a 15 or 20-minute nap whether driving a short or long distance.
- Make certain to have sunglasses in the vehicle. This time of year, the sun rises and sets at different times than in spring and summer months. This can cause sun blindness when driving. In addition, the sun is lower than it has been in recent months, putting the sun at a different angle when driving.
- Do not drink before driving even for a short or long distance.
Most of all, people must be cognizant of their surroundings. Also, drivers must consider that others perhaps were not so prepared to be on the roads with the difference in hours and light. Hence, those enlightened motorists have to pick up the slack and surround their vehicles with a cushion of space.
In conclusion, here we have discussed daylight savings, the risks of driving and tips to avoid incidents while driving. If you need to learn more, please review the citations below.