Senior Specialist, Public and Government Affairs, OH
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TOLEDO, OH - One of the most anticipated “signs of spring” arrives this weekend when the clocks “spring forward” (Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 8), causing us to lose an hour of our day in exchange for extended daylight hours throughout the summer. However, come Monday morning, the commute will look very different for school students waiting for buses and motorists driving to work – in the dark.
“Most people will see a dramatic difference during their morning commute starting on Monday, as roadways remain darker later into the morning, causing concern for drivers and pedestrians,” said Kara Hitchens, spokesman for AAA. “Motorists and pedestrians, including school students waiting at bus stops, need to be aware of these dangers, remain alert, and minimize distractions to reduce the risk of vehicle crashes.”
Don’t Be Asleep at the Wheel
Drowsy driving is big traffic safety issue. The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths nationwide. But there is broad agreement across the traffic safety, sleep science, and public health communities that this is an underestimate of the impact of drowsy driving.
Ohio Department of Transportation data from 2019 revealed that drivers being fatigued or falling asleep was cited as a contributing factor in more than 3,000 traffic crashes in the state – 11 were fatal crashes. Ohioans “springing forward” by moving their clocks ahead one hour need to remember to also adjust their sleep schedule to prevent drowsiness on the road.
“A change in time can mean that drivers are more tired than they realize,” noted Hitchens. “Drivers who miss one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash.”
According to AAA Foundation research:
AAA recommends that drivers:
Moving clocks ahead one hour means it will be darker in the mornings for the next few weeks. It is important to remember that children will be on their way to school during this time, so drivers must remain vigilant. AAA recommends the following:
Headlights. Turn on the vehicle’s daytime running lights or headlights—even during the day—so children and other drivers can see you more easily. But, don’t forget to turn them off when you reach your destination to maintain your battery life.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
Go to Other AAA Clubs
This site serves residents of the AAA Club Alliance service area which includes Greater Hartford, CT Area, Cincinnati Tri-State Area, Miami County, OH, Greater Dayton, OH Area, Northwest Ohio, AAA Blue Grass & Bluefield Regions, Southern West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Write Us: AAA Club Alliance, One River Place, Wilmington, DE 19801