How to Avoid Drowsy Driving After the Time Change

March 5, 2015

A Few Ideas to Help You Adjust to the Time Change and Avoid Driving Drowsy

When you’re tired, it’s hard to do anything effectively—and that includes driving.

Recent research suggests that the switch to Daylight Savings Time each year may contribute to an increase in fatal car accidents for nearly a week after clocks “spring forward,” and part of the problem may be drowsy drivers who have effectively lost an hour of sleep. However, you don’t have to let the time change take you by surprise. Before you get behind the wheel on Monday morning, try a few of these ideas for adjusting to Daylight Savings Time:

  • Try going to bed a little earlier. You know that you’ll be “losing” an hour of sleep, so plan ahead to make sure that you’ve had enough rest to drive safely—both in the morning and on the drive home in the dark later that evening.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Making sure that you’re getting regular, healthy sleep can help you adjust more quickly to changes in routine.
  • Get some sunlight as soon as you get up. Light is your body’s signal to “wake up,” so make sure that you get some sunlight or turn on a bright light as soon as you get up on Sunday.
  • Give caffeine time to work. A cup of coffee can take 30 minutes to have an effect on alertness, so grabbing that extra cup right before you run out the door may not help you adjust to the earlier morning.

Even though you may try your best to plan ahead and stay safe on the road, accidents still can and do happen. If you have already been hurt in a wreck with a drowsy or distracted driver, don’t hesitate to contact our legal team at 312-332-1400 with your questions.

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