If you’re a sleepy head like me, tomorrow morning, Nov. 5, is bliss. Because of the change away from Daylight Savings, setting our clocks again permits an additional hour of pillow time.
But that’s when desires finish and hazard begins.
Except for my spouse, who thrives to rise earlier than roosters crow, specialists warn monkeying round with time change disrupts sleep patterns, may cause awful driving and results in extra accidents.
There is even an official “Drowsy Driving Awareness Week” that begins at midnight tonight — or is it 1 a.m. that reverts to midnight?
Anyway, who knew?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that with earlier sunsets “adjusting to the new, low-light environment can take time, and that driving while distracted puts everyone — and especially pedestrians — at greater risk of death or injury.”
Even the California Highway Patrol warns the shift away from Daylight Savings is a ticking time bomb.
“Going to sleep ‘later’ as a result of the upcoming Daylight Saving Time change can disrupt sleep patterns,” the California Highway Patrol warns, “and may result in sleep-deprived drivers struggling with performance and concentration behind the wheel.”
Think this hullabaloo is extra snooze than alarm? Law enforcement affords statistics to again up their statements.
Four years in the past, the Golden State noticed four,284 collisions involving sleepy or fatigued drivers, in response to the California Highway Patrol. Within two years, that determine shot as much as 5,551 collisions and 45 deaths.
While most of those collisions didn’t occur throughout Drowsy Driving Awareness Week, many did.
“Most people are aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated,” mentioned CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow mentioned. “But many have no idea that drowsiness additionally impairs judgment, efficiency and response time similar to alcohol and medicines.
“Teens and young adults,” Farrow continued, “are at the highest risk of drowsy driving, due to their chronic sleepiness and overall lack of driving experience.”
TURN BACK TIME
Why not make Daylight Savings year-round or eliminate it altogether?
Some argue ending Daylight Savings in November saves vitality. But that’s incorrect for a lot of 21st Century America. For an instance, simply go to soccer fields on a Monday the place youngsters play below floodlights — earlier than suppertime.
A proposed invoice to finish Daylight Savings Time in California failed just lately. In truth, there was extra badist for year-round Daylight Savings Time.
“I received a lot of input from the constituents, the Little League groups,” mentioned Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, after introducing the invoice. “They don’t like switching back and forth, but they would prefer a longer daytime.”
But if even a proposed statewide poll measure advocating year-round Daylight Savings was to succeed, it will require an act of Congress to turn into actuality.
Because of one thing known as the Uniform Time Act that regulates this nation’s time zones, altering one thing like Pacific Standard Time is tougher than resetting your automobile clock.
Federal regulation permits for 9 time zones. It additionally permits states to enact or ignore Daylight Savings Time starting at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ending at 2 a.m. on the primary Sunday of November of every yr.
But it doesn’t permit for year-round Daylight Savings.
There is a few hope, nevertheless, for Daylight Savings lovers. Silicon Valley Congresswoman Ro Khanna is main an effort in Washington, D.C. for year-round Daylight Savings in California.
Additionally, there’s a Facebook web page known as, “Save the Light,” that advocates for year-round Daylight Savings within the Golden State.
“It would be awesome,” mentioned Andrea Feathers, the lawyer who launched the web page, “if we could end up going to permanent Daylight Saving Time and getting more light in those early evening hours.”
TIPS FOR STAYING ALIVE
With the solar setting an hour earlier, new risks instantly rise.
I’ve seen runners on darkened, busy streets wearing black — even when there was a sidewalk. The different evening, a motorcyclist clad in black and with out taillights signaled he was slowing and turning by protruding a shadowy arm.
Law enforcement warns that too many drivers contemplate a split-second look and a short slowdown at the hours of darkness sufficient to tear previous cease indicators or flip proper on a pink. But too usually, that may imply lacking a bicycle owner within the bike lane or a pedestrian about to step throughout the road.
With earlier sunsets, security advocates additionally level out that some cyclists pedal with out lights or with lights so dim they will’t be seen by motorists. And then there are these individuals who truly use crosswalks as if they’ve the correct of method.
Don’t you simply hate that?
If you discover any indicators of drowsiness whereas driving, the California Highway Patrol says to depart the highway. It additionally advises driving with a good friend who can look ahead to indicators of fatigue.
Coffee addicts, nevertheless, get a particular shock suggestion from the Patrol: Consume caffeine.
If you’re a runner and train after 5 p.m. — sure, that’s the brand new sundown — put on lime-green or neon-orange reflective clothes or reflective tape. Consider a headlamp when crossing streets.
If you’re a bicycle owner, mild your self up like a Christmas tree and embrace reflectors on shifting elements comparable to pedals and wheels. Consider what my spouse just lately purchased, a helmet with built-in entrance and taillights. The excessive visibility helps drivers be extra conscious of, ahem, what’s forward.
Coming in March: Something even worse than falling again — springing ahead.