BOISE – With the end of Daylight Savings Time on November 5, AAA is sharing tips to help drivers prepare for changes in their routine.

“It’s a good reminder to drivers to get enough rest, ideally seven hours or more, so that they can keep their focus where it belongs – on the road,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users are all counting on each other to make safe decisions to help prevent serious injury or worse.”

According to previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 95% of survey respondents view drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous, yet 19% admitted to driving when they were so tired they had difficulty keeping their eyes open at least once in the previous 30 days.

While “falling back” by one hour may initially feel like gaining an extra hour of sleep, AAA reminds drivers that any disruption to the regular sleep cycle can lead to reduced alertness on the roads.

AAA safety tips

  • Avoid heavy meals and medications that can cause drowsiness behind the wheel
  • Travel at times of the day when you’re normally awake
  • Plan ahead for darker afternoons and shorter days
  • Ensure headlight lenses – which yellow and ‘cloud’ with heat and sunlight over time – are ready for the dark and gloomy weather ahead.  Use a polishing kit from an auto parts store to clean the lenses, or have them polished professionally by a repair shop
  • Watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, stranded motorists, roadside workers, and kids heading to and from school and after-school activities in the dark
  • If you’re too tired to drive, switch drivers or take a rest break until you can do so safely and attentively