Entergy warns against drowsy driving as Daylight Saving Time ends

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) — Daylight Saving Time comes to an end this weekend, and National Road Safety Foundation studies prove that auto accidents increase after the clocks fall back an hour, according to a press release from Entergy.

Darkness will fall earlier in the evening when traffic peaks, as many are making their way home from work. Besides the lack of visibility, the NRSF notes that commuting in the dark can also make drivers drowsier than usual.

Drowsy driving is a factor in more than 300,000 crashes every year, causing more than 5,000 deaths, 109,000 injuries and more than $30 billion in losses, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A study by AAA puts those numbers even higher, claiming drowsy driving crashes have been under-reported by eight times.

Studies also show that nearly two-thirds of motorists have driven while fatigued, and more than one third admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel.

The Governors Highway Safety Association last year estimated more than 83 million sleep-deprived Americans were driving on a typical day.

The release notes that certain groups are at higher risk than others for habitual drowsy driving:

  • Young people, especially males under age 26.
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours. Rotating-shift workers and people working more than 60 hours a week need to be particularly careful.
  • Commercial drivers, especially long-haul drivers.
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated disorders. People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have up to a seven times increased risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Business travelers who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged.

Experts with the NSRF say rolling down the windows or turning up the air conditioner are much less effective than simply finding a safe spot to pull over and take a break.

For more driving safety information, visit https://www.nrsf.org/resources/drowsy-driving.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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