CHP warns of drowsy drivers after Daylight Savings time change

Over 3,800 injured in rest-related crashes in 2016
Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 21:05:18-04

The California Highway Patrol is warning drivers about the dangers of drowsy driving after the Daylight Savings time change.

"We did have a significant amount of crashes this morning," said CHP Public Information Officer Robert Rodriguez on Tuesday, two days after the time change.

"Granted, they were pretty minor in nature, but during this time of Daylight Savings we just want the public to be aware because a lot of people do lose that hour of sleep and that drowsiness can kick in, especially when a person hasn't had a full night's sleep."

According to the CHP, 33 people died and more than 3,800 were injured in fatigue or sleep-related crashes in California in 2016.

"Even if it's just to go to work, drowsy driving can be really dangerous, especially this time of year," Rodriguez said.

CHP data also showed that in 2016, sleepy or fatigued drivers were responsible for more than 6,700 accidents on California roads.

"Drowsy driving a lot of the time has the similar effect as someone who's under the influence of alcohol...and they both have the same deadly effect," Rodriguez said.

CHP recommends the following to prevent drowsy driving:

  • Get between 7-9 hours of sleep before driving.
  • Do not drive if you've been awake more than 24 hours.
  • If you feel tired, drink something with caffeine.
  • Let a passenger take over the driving.
  • If out of options, find a safe location off the freeway or at a rest stop and take a short nap.