AAA: END OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME DRIVING ALERT
Car Crash Risks Can Increase During Transitional Period
ATLANTA, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2017) — AAA – The Auto Club Group is advising motorists to be aware of the additional risks of drowsy driving following the end of daylight savings time this weekend. Georgians will be facing additional risks to their morning and evening commutes thanks to earlier sunrises and sunsets and the possibility of disruption to sleep cycles. These combined factors can greatly increase risks for car crashes in the coming weeks.
A recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly all motorists view drowsy driving as a serious threat to their safety and completely unacceptable; however, nearly three in ten motorists admit to driving when they were so tired they could barely keep their eyes open, at some point in the past month.
“Even the most experienced drivers are not immune to the additional risks created by disruptions in sleep patterns and less daylight hours ,” said Garrett Townsend, Georgia Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We urge Georgians to be well-rested and proceed with extra caution during this transitional period.”
There is no guarantee you will recognize your body becoming tired behind the wheel. In fact, one half of drivers involved in crashes resulting from falling asleep behind the wheel did not detect any signs of drowsiness prior to the crash. Be aware that there may not be any warning signs before drifting off to sleep, but be sure to recognize any of the warning signs that do appear:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming or wandering thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven, passing up exits, or missing traffic signs
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, following too closely, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless or irritable
AAA offers these tips to stay safe behind the wheel:
- Get plenty of rest. This may vary by individual, but sleep experts recommend between 7 and 9 hours per night for adults, and 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours per night for teens.
- Plan ahead. Be sure to take into consideration the total length of your trip, stopping points, and other logistical concerns. If you are planning on taking a longer trip, take a friend with you. Passengers can help identify symptoms of drowsiness and share the task of driving.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or with other passengers, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Keep vehicle windows clean and clear. This will maintain a clear field of vision in the event of any adverse visual conditions – such as rain or fog.
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness. These include both over the counter and prescribed medications that may impair driving performance. If you are unsure how your medications may affect your driving performance you can find more information via Roadwise Rx: http://www.roadwiserx.com/
- Yield to Pedestrians. Earlier sunsets and sunrises may make pedestrians more difficult to see due to unexpected changes in visibility.
About Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation
Established by AAA – The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF’s purpose. Visitwww.AAA.com/Foundation for more information.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.4 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57.7 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.