CHP Warns Of Daylight Saving Time's Effect On Drivers

Mar 5, 2015

Sunday is Daylight Saving Time, which will gain us an hour of sun, but will cause us to lose an hour of sleep. It’s the latter that worries the California Highway Patrol. 

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, which means an hour more of sunlight and an hour fewer of sleep.
Credit NSPR

According to a press release from the CHP, losing even one hour of sleep can affect a person’s internal clock. And that lack of sleep, says Redding CHP Officer Jason Morton, can turn people into unsafe drivers. 

“They can be just as dangerous as alcohol or drug impaired drivers,” Morton said. “A lack of sleep, you know, it will increase a driver’s lack of awareness, it slows their reaction time, impairs their judgment.” 

All behaviors that Morton warns can cause serious injury or even death. 

“Just in 2012 we had more than 4,000 collisions that occurred in California involving a drowsy driver, and from those collisions resulted in 36 deaths and injuries – or 36 deaths and 2,400 people that were injured out of those collisions,” he said.

The CHP advises that if you feel tired or are nodding off while driving that you find a safe spot to stop and rest – saying that even 20 minutes of napping may clear fatigue.