This Sunday, we’ll be springing forward as we change the clocks for daylight savings time.
With this change, we’ll be losing an hour of sleep which will leave plenty of motorists drowsy on the roadways. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants the public to be aware of the risks associated with getting behind the wheel when you’re fatigued.
“When clocks are set forward in the spring, people often lose an hour of sleep,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said (via Victor Valley News). “Drowsy driving can have the same effect on a person as drinking alcohol, with equally deadly consequences. The skills required to be a safe driver are significantly reduced when you have not had enough sleep.”
Sleep-related collisions are most common in young people, who tend to stay up late, sleep too little, and drive at night, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Nationally, 55 percent of all collisions in which the driver fell asleep involved drivers 25 years of age and younger.
To prevent drowsy driving, the NSF recommends:
- Get enough sleep before driving. Most adults need seven to nine hours.
- Do not drive if you have been awake for 24 hours or more.
- If you feel sleepy, drink something with caffeine.
- Let a passenger take over the driving.
- If all else fails, find a safe place to take a short nap by exiting the freeway or pulling into a rest stop, or stay somewhere for the night.