Delaware Public Media

AAA warns of drowsy driving with Daylight Saving Time

Mar 7, 2019

AAA Mid-Atlantic is encouraging Delaware drivers to get enough sleep this weekend with the change to Daylight Saving Time.

The clocks roll an hour forward at 2 a.m. Sunday morning and that change could spell trouble on the roads.

A 2018 AAA study links drowsy driving to about 10 percent of all traffic accidents.

AAA spokesman Ken Grant says losing two hours from the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep doubles the risk of a crash. He notes there are other traffic hazards associated with the time change as well.

“And of course we’re also looking at a change in sun glare in the morning. That kind of takes people by surprise,” said Grant. “So the Monday morning commute and throughout the week we need to be much more aware of these factors.”

Grant cites a Delaware State Police statistic attributing more than 6,000 traffic accidents and seven fatalities in 2016 to driver inattention, distraction or fatigue.

He says it’s possible there could be an uptick during daylight savings time.

“Anecdotally we’ve heard about an uptick in crashes as well as an uptick in heart attacks that surround the week after a clock switch change and this is something that AAA is looking to do some research and study into,” said Grant.

Grant adds AAA sees no benefit to the biannual change in clocks.

Hawaii and Arizona have passed legislation ending the practice of Daylight Saving Time and several other states have introduced measures to do the same.