Daylight Saving Time can cause a disruption to our sleep patterns, which can lead to drowsiness and reduced alertness while driving. According to the CDC, drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that there were 633 deaths in 2020 due to drowsy driving. Here are some tips to help you stay alert while driving after Daylight Saving Time:
- Adjust your sleep schedule. Try to adjust your sleep schedule gradually, going to bed and waking up a little earlier each day in the week leading up to Daylight Saving Time. The Sleep Foundation offers some tips on adopting a healthy sleep routine.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mind alert. According to Healthline, mild dehydration can impair many aspects of brain function.
- Use caffeine wisely. Caffeine can help you feel more alert, but be careful not to overdo it, as too much caffeine can make you jittery or anxious.
- Take breaks. If you’re a truck driver or are driving a long distance, plan to take regular breaks every two hours or so to stretch your legs and rest your eyes.
- Ensure good visibility. Make sure your headlights are clear and the bulbs are working. Also keep your windshield and mirrors clean and clear. This can help improve your visibility and reduce eye strain. If you need to clean your headlights, check out this guide from Family Handyman. Car and Driver also offers this handy guide on replacing your headlights.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and road conditions.
- Listen Wisely. Listening to high-energy music or a laughter-inducing comedy recording can help you focused while you head down the road.