With the end of daylight-saving time and the arrival of the fall season, it will get darker earlier this time of year. This can have a profound effect on a motorist’s ability to avoid driving drowsy. It’s not necessarily because the darkness makes a motorist feel sleepy, although that can certainly be part of the problem. What can be an even bigger contributing factor to drowsy driving is that the end of daylight-saving can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Fatal accidents normally spike in the spring after daylight-saving time begins, because when we “spring forward,” we temporarily lose an hour of sleep. It can upend your sleep routine, causing you to feel sleepy when you get behind the wheel. “Falling back” in November, when daylight-saving ends, temporarily adds an hour to your sleep schedule, but the change in routine causes some people to lose sleep nonetheless.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Unfortunately, rolling down the window or blasting the radio won’t actually do anything to combat fatigue. The only sure-fire preventive measure is getting good quality sleep. Here are some things you can do to that end:
- If possible, avoid driving when most people’s fatigue peaks – between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., as well as in the late afternoon.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – stick to a set bedtime and wake time. Cease all use of electronic devices 30-60 minutes before bed. Consider relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
- Don’t drink alcohol before driving. Alcohol interacts with fatigue in a way that makes drowsy driving even more dangerous.
Prioritizing good sleep in your life is important. With how busy everyone’s schedule is, that can be difficult. You may find that by simply adding “sleep” to your list of priorities, you will see a shift in your awareness of good sleep hygiene and the dangers of drowsy driving.
Find Out If You Have a Case
If you were injured in a car crash caused by a careless driver and are wondering if you have a car accident case, please call the Lyme, NH, law firm of Mr. David Cole at 603-643-4500. Mr. Cole will listen to the details of your situation and let you know what your options are for pursuing maximum compensation.