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March 8, 2019 – One of the most anticipated “signs of spring” arrives this weekend when the clocks “spring forward” (Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10), and we lose an hour of sleep in exchange for extended daylight hours throughout the summer. However, come next 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 on Monday, as roadways remain darker longer, causing concern for pedestrians,” said Leslie Gamble, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “Motorists need to be aware of these dangers, remain alert, and minimize distractions to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes, and pedestrians, including school students waiting at bus stops, should be extra careful as well.”
Spring forward…to drowsy driving?
In addition to darker morning commutes, the time change can create another danger: interrupted sleep patterns and drowsy motorists.
Drivers who miss between 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 research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily. And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have dangerous and deadly consequences.
Data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office shows that in 2017, there were 1,313 crashes where at least one driver was listed as being sleepy or very tired. In those 1,313 crashes in 2017, 13 people were killed. The data also shows that more than 30 percent of drowsy driving crashes happen between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.
In a AAA Foundation survey, nearly all drivers (97 percent) say they view drowsy driving as a serious threat to their safety and a completely unacceptable behavior. However, 29 percent admitted to driving when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.
“A change in time can mean that drivers are more tired than they realize,” noted AAA Oklahoma’s Gamble. “Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash.”
AAA Oklahoma offers motorists and pedestrians the following safety tips:
AAA Oklahoma Tips for Drivers
AAA Oklahoma Tips for Pedestrians
Additional information on drowsy driving and how motorists can recognize the symptoms may be found at https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/drowsy-driving/
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
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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