VIRGINIA BEACH — On Sunday at 2 a.m., clocks jumped forward for the beginning of daylight saving time, resulting in a loss of an hour of sleep.
AAA Tidewater is warning that less light could lead to drowsy driving as well as other driving risks, and reminds motorists to use caution while everyone adjusts to the change.
“Drowsy driving is a dangerous traffic safety issue,” said Holly Dalby, AAA Tidewater director of public affairs. “Motorists need to plan ahead to make sure that they are still getting a restful sleep and are ready and alert to drive.”
According to AAA Foundation research:
- Ninety-five percent of motorists view drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous, but 19% admitted to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at least once in the previous 30 days before the survey (2021 Traffic Safety Culture Index).
- Drivers who have slept for less than five hours have a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.
- Drivers who miss one to two hours of sleep can nearly double their risk for a crash.
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.