DENVER (KDVR) — Daylight saving time is ending, and while it leads to an extra hour of sleep, it can also lead to drowsy or fatigued driving, according to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes or contributes to an estimated 100,000 crashes per year.
“We know that this change in time can affect the way people sleep and that, in addition to driving more in the dark, can create risk of drowsiness or fatigue behind the wheel,” DMV Senior Director Electra Bustle said.
The DMV gave eight warning signs of drowsy driving that people should watch for:
- Finding it hard to focus on the road
- Starting to daydream
- Having trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing an exit or ignoring traffic signs
- Yawning or rubbing your eyes often
- Finding it hard to keep your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating another car or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless or becoming aggravated with things like sitting in traffic
The DMV said a couple of things can contribute to drowsy driving, including sleep deprivation, medications and a 60+ hour work week.
3 tips to avoid drowsy driving
The DMV said there are a few ways you can keep yourself from the dangerous consequences of drowsy driving.
For one, you should plan your trip ahead of time, according to the DMV.
If it is a long-distance trip, you should ask a friend to join you so they can help drive and check for signs of drowsiness.
Additionally, if you feel tired or notice any of the signs of drowsy driving, you should pull over, get some rest and only continue driving once you’re fully alert.