For Immediate Release:
Daylight savings brings a warning from UDOT
Springing forward can cause drowsiness and poor visibility during morning commute
SALT LAKE CITY (March 9, 2018) –The Utah Department of Transportation’s Zero Fatalities program is reminding drivers to be extra alert after daylight savings on Sunday. Springing forward an hour can cause poor visibility during the morning commute, and a change in sleep cycle can result in drowsy driving.
Both of these factors require drivers to be alert and put away the distractions.
Driving during dark, dawn or dusk increases the risk of a fatal crash, especially auto-pedestrian crashes. UDOT recommends the following safe driving tips:
- Recognize that pedestrians will be more difficult to see and be on the lookout. Slow down if needed, especially in neighborhoods, near schools and around intersections.
- Eliminate distractions so you can focus on the task of driving. You may be a great driver, but remember, daylight savings will affect everyone on the road. Drive defensively.
Utahns need to recognize that their body will take time to adjust when losing an hour on Sunday. According to a study in the journal “Sleep Medicine Reviews,” a seemingly small one-hour shift in the sleep cycle can affect sleep for up to a week or longer. Here are some additional tips to stay safe:
- Reduce your risk for daylight savings-induced drowsiness by resetting your internal body clock slowly. For the next two nights set your alarm clock for another 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than usual.
- Enjoy the weekend, be active to tire yourself out so it will be easier to fall asleep earlier.
- Make sure you are awake before getting in your vehicle to drive. If you experience the symptoms of sleepiness while driving, pull over to a safe place and take a power nap.
To learn more about avoiding drowsy driving or improving pedestrian safety, visit ZeroFatalities.com.