Increased Risk for Car Crashes During Switch to Daylight Saving
DEARBORN, Mich., (March 15, 2021) — AAA is sending out a Michigan statewide SPRING FORWARD SAFETY ALERT urging drivers to use extra caution during this first week of Daylight Saving Time (DST). Drowsy driving is a significant traffic safety issue. Michigan residents ‘springing forward’ by moving their clocks ahead one hour need to remember to adjust their sleep schedule to prevent drowsiness on the road.
According to AAA Foundation research:
- Drivers who have slept for less than 5 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.
- 96% of drivers view drowsy driving as a completely unacceptable behavior that is a severe threat to their safety. Still, nearly 29% admit to driving when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at least once in the last 30 days.
“In today’s fast-paced, sleep-deprived world, drowsy driving continues to be a safety risk on our roads. Lack of sleep causes loss of focus and can prove dangerous while driving,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “AAA urges motorists across Michigan to be well-rested when they get behind the wheel and do their part to help everyone stay safe on the roads.”
AAA 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.
Also, as we spring ahead, mornings will be darker longer, which can make it harder to see when driving. Lack of visibility can make for unsafe driving conditions. As we adjust to daylight saving time, it’s a good time to check the condition of your headlights.
With 50% of crashes occurring at night, drivers should check their headlights for signs of aging (cloudiness, yellowing) and invest in new headlights or, at a minimum, visit your local repair shop to have your headlights restored.
As schools across Michigan continue to have phased reopenings, we encourage drivers to stay alert in areas where children are present, paying particular attention during the morning and afternoon hours while children are coming to and from school.
Having a heightened sense of awareness of children and following the practices below will help to keep your drive and children safe:
- Slow down in or near the school and residential areas.
- Look for clues such as AAA School Safety Patrol™ members, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds, indicating children could be in the area.
- Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
- Practice extra caution in bad weather or times of limited visibility.
- Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
Remember, School’s Open – Drive Carefully. You can make a difference by staying alert and taking extra care while driving where children are present.
AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.5 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.