Sunday’s daylight saving time change can bring danger to Utah roads
SALT LAKE CITY — With daylight saving starting early Sunday, the Utah Department of Transportation warned Utah drivers to be aware of the risks associated with the time change.
It was a deadly year on Utah roads in 2021.
About a quarter of all fatalities last year were speed-related, with 81 lives lost from going over the posted limit.
Even more alarming, law enforcement cited more than 4,700 drivers for driving faster than 100 mph.
Police arrested another 10,000 drivers for impaired driving.
Thirty teenagers between 13 and 19 years old died on Utah roads.
Already in 2022 data showed we are on pace for an equally tragic and dangerous year on the roads.
DANGERS OF DRIVING DROWSY
John Gleason from the Utah Department of Transportation said, “If you’re out on the road and you’re asking yourself ‘Am I too tired to be driving?’ the answer is yes.”
The group Zero Fatalities said the time change brings two big concerns; poor visibility because of less light in the morning and drowsiness because of losing an hour of sleep.
Zero Fatalities said the risk for a fatal crash, including pedestrian crashes, increases while driving in the dark, dawn, and dusk.
The group offered these tips for driving safely:
- Drivers should always be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists. Slow down when appropriate, especially in neighborhoods, near schools, and around intersections.
- Vulnerable roadway users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists) should do everything in their power to be seen by drivers. Wear reflective gear and lights, be predictable, use traffic safety devices, obey traffic laws and make eye contact with drivers.
- All road users should drive sober, eliminate distractions and focus on the task of driving/walking/biking.
- Parents should talk to children and teens about potential risks and safety tips for daylight saving.
In addition, Zero Fatalities said it takes time to adjust to that lost hour of sleep on the first Sunday of Daylight Saving.
You can find more information on how to avoid drowsy driving and driving safely here.
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