PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. Daylight savings time came to an end, bringing with it an extra hour of sleep. While many anticipate that the extra hour of sleep will leave them feeling more rested, it is important to remember that any change to the clock will impact your circadian rhythm which can make you tired, or at least leave you feeling a little “off.” So, what can you do to get enough rest and stay safe behind the wheel, given the time change?
According to ABC News, in the weeks following any change to the clock, drivers should expect to encounter drowsy drivers. Even with the extra hour of sleep, your circadian rhythm might be disrupted. If you don’t end up feeling tired in the morning, watch out for your evening commute. Your body is still on the old clock, and for many, the day will feel like it is lasting longer than it otherwise would, which means that many drivers might feel tired earlier. Other little changes can also impact your driving ability. People might not have adjusted their eating schedules or other aspects of self-care, so they might be more tired and hungry in the evening, all factors that can impact alertness and safety behind the wheel.
Harvard Health Publishing also notes that the extra hour of sleep during “Fall Back” doesn’t always translate into an actual extra hour of sleep. In fact, in the week following the time shift, many people find themselves waking up earlier and may have trouble falling asleep at the new time. Their bodies, after all, think it’s still too early to go to bed. Harvard Health Publishing notes that people who sleep the least number of hours a night may face the greatest difficulties adjusting. Researchers are also looking into whether the time shift in fall and spring can increase our risk of car accidents, adverse health events, and other issues.
So, what can you do to adjust to the shift in time and keep yourself safe on the road? Now’s a good time to give your car a quick tune up, make sure you have your winter tires, and check that tire pressure is good and that brakes are in working order. When driving home, remember to turn on your headlights. AAA recommends turning on your headlights a good 30 minutes before the sun sets.
Be aware of drowsy driving, especially if your work requires you to drive home later at night or if you pull overnight shifts. Drowsy driving can be difficult to detect, but heavy eyelids, problems focusing, frequent blinking, yawning, and forgetting turns or stretches of your drive, can be a sign that it might be time to pull over.
Goodrich & Associates, P.C. are car accident lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who wish everyone a safe “fall back” this year. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, reach out to our attorneys today to learn more about your rights and options under the law. Visit us at https://www.goodrichpc.com/.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15219