HEALTH

Zero Fatalities urges road users to stay alert as the clocks move ahead

Mar 10, 2023, 11:04 AM | Updated: 11:13 am

a bed and table are pictured, daylight saving time is coming up...

Experts say daylight saving time can interrupt our internal clocks. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — This Sunday at 2 a.m. the clocks will spring forward, effectively stealing an hour of sleep from us. 

The shift in time can be more than a simple annoyance. Studies show that the leap forward can actually have adverse health and safety impacts.

One notable impact is the increase in car accidents. Zero Fatalities wants to remind drivers and pedestrians to stay safe on Utah roads.

According to Zero Fatalities, daylight saving time introduces two travel risks: poor visibility due to less light in the morning and drowsiness due to a change in sleep cycles.

Zero Fatalities offered tips and encouraged people to be aware of these risks as they take to the roads Monday morning. 

Dark mornings

According to Zero Fatalities, driving during dark hours increases the risk of a fatal crash, especially an auto-pedestrian crash. Drivers and pedestrians need to make an extra effort to see each other. 

Mornings can be peak travel times. Drivers should be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians or motorcyclists. Remember to slow down, especially in neighborhoods, near schools and around intersections. 

Vulnerable roadway users

Additionally, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists should take actions power to be seen by drivers such as wearing reflective gear and lights. 

Pedestrians should use traffic safety devices, obey traffic laws and attempt to make eye contact with drivers.

 Eliminate distractions and focus on the task of driving, walking, biking. Even walking while distracted can prove dangerous.

It is also recommended that parents should talk to children and teens about the risks and safety tips for the time change. 

Body shifts

Skipping that hour also impacts the body and it takes time to adjust and avoid drowsy driving.

Make sure you are alert and aware before going driving, walking or biking. 

It is ok to pull over to a safe place if you experience sleepiness while driving.

Zero Fatalities recommends resetting your internal clock slowly.

You can reduce your risk for daylight saving-induced drowsiness by resetting your internal body clock slowly. For the next two nights, people can try to set an alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual.

Lastly, be active and enjoy the weekend so it will be easier to fall asleep earlier.

To learn more about avoiding drowsy driving or improving pedestrian safety, visit ZeroFatalities.com

Related: Daylight Saving Time again a consideration by Utah lawmakers

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Zero Fatalities urges road users to stay alert as the clocks move ahead