Whether you’re a fan of daylight savings or not, we are all going to have to set our clocks an hour ahead before we go to bed on Saturday night.

But keep in mind that your clock isn’t the only thing that needs to be changed. You’re also going to need to adjust your driving habits.

Nationwide, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year with 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. From 2011 through 2015, in Washington State, there were 64 fatal collisions and 308 serious injury collisions investigated where a drowsy driver was involved.

Drowsy driving is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. If you fall asleep at the wheel, you could receive a $550 fine for Negligent Driving in Washington.


Did you know drowsy driving is considered a form of impairment?

Missing just a couple hours of sleep can really affect a person’s ability to stay alert behind the wheel. The first step to combatting drowsy driving is recognizing the early signs such as having trouble keeping your eyes open and not remembering the last couple miles you drove.

If you do end up losing a few hours of sleep due to daylight savings, try to get a good nap in before you start driving. Here are some other simple tips for staying awake behind the wheel:

1. Get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road
2. Don’t be too rushed to arrive at your destination
3. Take a break every two hours or 100 miles to refresh
4. Use the buddy system to keep you awake and share driving chores
5. Avoid alcohol, drugs, and medications that cause drowsiness as a side effect
6. Avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping


Another factor that can be overlooked is the change in environment. Since we will be traveling during a different part of the day, drivers could find themselves with more sun glaring in their windshields. Since the days are becoming longer, the amount of pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists will be more active on the roadways during high traffic times.


• Watch for pedestrians
• Turn on headlights
• Leave more following room

Stay Alert, Stay Safe

For more information about drowsy driving and how to prevent it, visit drowsydriving.org