Asleep at the Wheel?

Spring is in the air…once Daylight Saving time starts, our thoughts turn to warmer weather and the end of snow and ice. But, turning our clocks ahead one hour does more than just deprive us of a little sleep. Studies find that this small time shift increases crashes caused by drowsy driving, an increasing problem on our roads. To add to the risk, many people are experiencing sleeping issues during the pandemic.

Are you at risk? Look for these signs of drowsy driving:

  • Yawning
  • Difficulty keeping your eyes open
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Daydreaming, not paying attention to the road
  • Missing your exit, not noticing traffic signs
  • Drifting or swerving out of your lane

Remember to take frequent breaks – every two hours at a minimum. Caffeine combined with a little exercise – plus a 15-20 minute nap – can refresh you for a few more hours.

Teens and young adults are frequently at risk, since they tend to get less sleep than any other age group.  In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 16-24 year-olds are more likely to be involved in drowsy driving crashes than any other age group.

Check out our video, below, for more information!


drowsy driving
Drowsy Driving – Know The Risks

Spring Car Tips

March “comes in like a lion,” roaring in with snow, sleet, rain, wind or even unusually warm temperatures. While winter conditions, as well as salt and sand from the roads, may have already damaged your car, unsettled spring weather can wreak more havoc.

Now is the perfect time to take care of any issues and do some preventative maintenance to keep you running smoothly this spring and summer. Here are some maintenance tips from AAA’s Car Doctor, John Paul:

Girl driving car in springtime
  1. Wash your car. Salt can affect the paint and corrode any metal, so make sure to remove it. Don’t forget underneath…the undercarriage can accumulate sand, dirt, grime and salt.  Use a hose to get it all off. If you notice any chips or scratches, fix them now before they start corroding the paint. A good coat of wax will renew the paint and protect your car from spring weather as well.
  2. Replace filters. Spring is allergy season so you need a clean cabin air filter to keep pollen, dirt and dust from getting into the car. Look at the engine air filter to make sure it’s clean.
  3. Refill fluids and check your windshield wiper blades. Spring brings rain, so you need the wipers fully functioning for good visibility.
  4. Check your battery. Cold temperatures require more starting power, so make sure it’s still charged and fully functioning. AAA members can call AAA Car Battery Service to schedule a free battery test and to get a quote. If your car has been sitting over the winter, it is likely the battery will need to be charged with a battery charger to get it back to full power.
  5. Measure tire pressure.  Potholes and cold, wintry roads decrease pressure, so make sure they’re at proper levels. Find the right pressure for your tires by checking the sticker on the insider of the driver’s door.
  6. Check your tires. Closely inspect the tires for cuts, bulges and other damage caused by potholes that occur in the winter. Sand and salt are abrasive and degrade tire surfaces, so check the tire treads – AAA recommends replacing tires when tread depth reaches 4/32”. Poor traction will lead to hydroplaning on wet roads caused by spring rains.  
  7. Vacuum the interior of the car, including the air vents, to remove any debris, food, sand or salt. Clean the windows inside and out and dust the dashboard and plastic components. 
  8. Visit a trusted repair facility to give your vehicle a check-up, including alignment, the exhaust system, engine, plugs and more.  Find a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility in your neighborhood.
  1. Don’t think daylight saving time doesn’t affect you. Losing just one hour of sleep can make you less alert and less responsive.
  2. Take precautions against increased glare and sun. Store sunglasses in your car and keep your windshield clean.
  3. Learn the side effects of your medications. Spring brings allergies, and allergy medications are notorious for causing drowsiness. Check out AAA’s app to see how your medications can affect your driving ability.
  4. Be alert for more pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles once the weather gets warmer.
  5. Prepare for spring showers. Take it slow in sudden rainstorms; the first 10 minutes of a downpour present the highest risk for hydroplaning. Also, stay in the highway’s center lane to reduce the risk of hydroplaning on wet pavement. Most roads have a crown that sends water to the right and left lanes.
  6. Avoid cruise control in rainy conditions. You need your foot on the accelerator to keep control of the vehicle.
  7. Keep your tires inflated to the proper level. Underinflated tires don’t displace water as well, making driving in wet conditions more dangerous.
  8. Don’t brake during an impact with a pothole. Instead, brake prior to the pothole and release before impact. Less severe damage occurs when a tire is rolling over a pothole than when it’s skidding over one.
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