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Gaining an hour presents fresh problems for commuters

The sun rises over Newport, September 8, 2022
Bill Rinehart
The sun rises over Newport, September 8, 2022

If you're feeling a bit sluggish for your morning commute, you're not alone. The end and the beginning of Daylight Saving Time wreak havoc with sleep schedules. Kara Hitchens with AAA says that can affect reaction time behind the wheel.

“Traffic data has shown us (in) early November there are a lot more traffic crashes because people are trying to adjust to that time change,” she says. “So that happens in November and it happens again in March.”

Hitchens says combine that with drivers facing a rising sun or darkness when they're not used to it, and it's a recipe for crashes.

“Depending on the time of day that you typically go in, you may be faced with a lot of sunshine; some blinding, maybe glaring sunshine,” she says. “And then at the end of the day, your evening commute’s going to be different as well. It’s going to be darker much earlier.”

Hitchens says drivers should pay extra attention when behind the wheel, because there may be people commuting who are not in a vehicle. “People are still out at that time of day. It’s dark, but it feels early to people. So people are still out and about traveling, walking, maybe even biking.”

This is also mating season for deer, and they’re more active at dusk and dawn.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.