Along with moving the clock forward an hour as Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, AAA is advising drivers not to "lose" an hour of sleep. The consequences of doing so could be felt on Monday morning.
AAA Minneapolis, which is part of the national motoring club, says the time change will bring an extra hour of daylight in the evenings but at the cost of darker mornings. That along with any loss of sleep could make drivers drowsy and more distracted.
"“A change in time can affect people physically and drivers can be more tired than they realize," said Jamie Christianson, public relations and social media coordinator for AAA Minneapolis. "Drivers need to be aware of the changing conditions, and know that other drivers are not. People can have trouble changing their internal body clocks. There could be some post-Daylight Savings Time grogginess."
To prepare, AAA recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and go to bed earlier than normal to make the transition.
An estimated 17 percent of fatal crashes, 13 percent of crashes resulting in hospitalization, and seven percent of all crashes requiring a tow involve a drowsy driver, according to a 2010 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year. The actual figure may be higher because police can’t always determine with certainty when driver fatigue results or is a contributory factor in a crash.