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Daylight Saving Time May Affect Monday Morning Commute

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Drivers beware; Daylight saving time may affect your Monday morning commute.
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Drivers beware; Daylight saving time may affect your Monday morning commute.

Longer days are on the way. But the arrival of daylight saving time may mean more than just a lost hour of sleep. According to some studies, those 60 minutes may be enough to cause problems to the following Monday morning's commute.

According to some research, there may be increased traffic accidents Monday morning following Sunday's time change.

"A lot of motorists don't realize that just the loss of one hour of sleep can throw your circadian rhythm out of wack, and as a result, the Monday after the switchover we see more crashes than the Monday before or the Monday thereafter," says John Townsend, with Triple AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Researchers are still debating the affect of time changes on commuters. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the springtime shift resulted in an 8 percent increase in traffic crashes. Another study found no notable difference.

But Townsend says it's indisputable that operating a vehicle while drowsy is dangerous, and drivers should take precautions to combat fatigue.

"In other words, since you know you're going to lose an hour, go to bed an hour early," Townsend says.

Other tips include pulling over, or letting a passenger take over the wheel as soon as drowsiness is felt.

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