You set your clock back 1 hour last night for the end of daylight saving time. Doing so means it will be lighter earlier in the day and also darker earlier in the day. You can expect sunset in Chicago as early as 4:40 p.m. this week.
For some of us, the adjustment to the time difference is difficult. You may have trouble getting to sleep at your normal time, and you may feel drowsier than usual during the morning commute, which is why this week is recognized as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Drowsy driving contributed to 4,121 fatal accidents between 2011 and 2015.1 In 2015 specifically, drowsiness contributed to about 90,000 motor vehicle accidents, leading to 824 fatalities. These statistics may actually be much higher since it's not always clear that drowsiness was the direct cause of a crash.
Here are 5 tips for preventing drowsy driving crashes:
- Prioritize sleep. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting restful sleep is really the only and best way to prevent drowsy driving. With your mind and body restored by sleep, you will be ready to be focused, attentive and responsive on the road.
- Plan for regular breaks if you are on a road trip/multi-hour drive. Driving straight through can lead to falling asleep. Nodding off for even just a second can lead to a severe and potentially deadly crash. Take regular breaks to get out of the car, stretch your legs and relax your eyes. If you need to, find a safe place to take a short nap.
- Plan driving trips for hours you are normally awake. Driving overnight if you are normally sleeping creates ideal conditions for drowsy driving. If possible, do not plan to drive during hours you are normally sleeping.
Wondering if you have a case because of an accident caused by a drowsy driver? Please contact the experienced accident attorneys in Chicago at Sklare Law Group. Your consultation is complimentary.