UDOT warns about drowsiness due to Daylight Saving Time

Mar 11, 2018, 9:05 AM | Updated: Mar 13, 2018, 12:26 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Say “Happy Birthday” to Daylight Saving Time. Sunday at 2 a.m. marked the 100th time Americans have set their clocks ahead one hour, losing 60 minutes of sleep. The Utah Department of Transportation is warning drivers about drowsiness.

Losing just one hour of sleep can wreak havoc with your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many people aren’t sleeping enough already. Sunday’s additional sleep shortage can lead to deadly consequences.

“I think it’s important to keep in mind as you’re driving out there that there are more sleepy drivers, more kids that are walking to school that are tired. You’re going to be looking at a much darker morning commute,” said John Gleason, a UDOT spokesman. The position of the sun in the sky could also affect drivers. “Visibility is going to be worse than it was the week before,” Gleason warned.

The Monday after the time shift is linked to an uptick in tragic car crashes. A Stanford University study looked at two decades of data from the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration. They found a small but significant increase in fatalities on the roads the Monday after the Daylight Saving Time adjustment. Deadly crashes jumped to an average of 83.5 percent on the spring-forward Monday compared with an average of 78.2 percent on a typical Monday.

UDOT says it’s important for drivers to get enough rest.

“It takes about a week or so for your body to really adjust to that new sleep schedule,” said Gleason. UDOT suggests drivers reset their sleep habits to make sure they’re getting enough rest.

“It’s a good rule of thumb to tire yourself out this weekend. Do a lot of high energy activities so you can go to bed a little earlier.”

History of Daylight Saving Time

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UDOT warns about drowsiness due to Daylight Saving Time