Daylight Saving Time Can Cause Dangerous Drowsy Driving

Daylight Saving time memePress release from the CHP:

When Daylight Saving Time begins on March 12, many motorists may find themselves short of sleep and a danger on the roadways.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants the public to be aware of the risks associated with drowsy driving.

“When clocks are set forward in the spring, people often lose an hour of sleep,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said.  “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.”

Preliminary 2016 information shows that 33 people died and more than 3,800 were injured in collisions caused by fatigued or sleepy drivers on California roadways.  Data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System also indicates that sleepy or fatigued drivers were responsible for more than 6,700 collisions.

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.
Signs of drowsy driving include trouble focusing, heavy eyelids, an inability to remember the last stretch of road just driven, yawning constantly, head bobbing, and drifting from one’s traffic lane.  According to the NSF’s Sleep in America poll, 60 percent of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37 percent admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year.

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.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.

  • Laytonville Rock
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10 comments

  • Find a safe place to pull over and take a short nap. Ha! I pulled over in Clear Lake to do just that. On my last leg of my journey driving across the U.S. from North Carolina. CHP woke me up with 2 kids in the car and my daughter in law. Told me I couldn’t rest there, had to move. I was blown away.

    • Have had the same experience!! And know many others who have as well.
      I laughed when i saw that in their press release. Its almost double speak.

      If they actually let people sleep for a bit maybe there wouldnt be as many accidents. I almost crashed after being woken up and told to leave a rest area at 3am. Stopped at a vista point and didnt get rousted there, luckily. But no bathrooms at vista points.

    • Lake County Not So Bad

      Yes, me too! Many years ago, I was way off the road in Kelseyville. Sheriff ordered me out. I’d like to know, really, what is the crime in sleeping in your car?

  • Covelo or busted

    If i were king there are two things i would do on my first day at work…. Fire trump and end daylight savings time.Oh and one more thing…. Get rid of those mind shattering new bright headlights, that make night driving a real headache for oncomming traffic.

  • Agree with you Covelo,the headlights extremely agitation. Why change time twice a year,still only 24 hours in a day!

  • I agree there is no reason to keep this time change we should put it to a people vote nation wide

  • Here it’s called Daylight “Savings” Time, and we’re losing an hour.

    Saving = losing. Must be one of those alternate facts.

  • We need a ballot initiative to do away with DST observance in California.

    Every Spring I like to dust of Harry Stamps obituary. For your clicking pleasure:

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sunherald/obituary.aspx?pid=163538353

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