by Iswarya on  March 7, 2020 at 12:11 PM Research News
Beware of the Dangers of Drowsy Driving as Daylight Saving Time Begins
With the arrival of daylight saving time and the loss of an hour of sleep, a new study reminds the drivers to adjust not only their clocks, but also their sleeping habits, to avoid drowsy driving.

"Any time change can exacerbate drowsiness because your internal clock has not adjusted to the time change. This can lead to disruptions in sleep until your body adjusts, which can take a few days to a week," says Hickman.

When the clocks spring forward this weekend, Americans generally are initially more sleep-deprived and occasionally commuting during morning darkness.

Hickman offers some tips for drivers to avoid fatigue:

  • Avoid driving during rush hour and from 2-4 a.m. Crash risk increases during rush hours and from 2-4 a.m. Driving between 2-4 a.m. is particularly dangerous because a person's circadian rhythm is at its lowest during this timeframe. And when a driver is already sleep-deprived, the desire to sleep during the circadian low is even greater.
  • Get a full night's sleep. Drivers should try to sleep at least seven to eight hours in order to avoid drowsiness. However, one night's rest may not be enough for someone who has experienced several sleepless nights. In those cases, the driver will need several days of restful sleep to compensate for the sleep debt.
  • Pay attention to signs of drowsy driving. Signs of drowsy driving include slow eyelid closures, yawning, the gentle swaying of the head, seat fidgeting, difficulty staying in your lane, difficulty maintaining speed, and delayed reactions.
  • Be aware of other factors impacting drowsy driving. Situations that increase drowsiness are driving alone, monotonous road conditions, such as long straightaways with limited changes in the environment), long drives, and extended periods of heavy traffic.

Source: Newswise

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