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Springing forward for daylight saving could lead to drowsy driving

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TYLER (KYTX) - Many are still feeling the effects of springing forward, and losing one hour to daylight saving time. With Monday marking the start of a new work week that drowsy feeling could be a problem at work and on the roads.

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains how daylight saving and drowsy driving contribute to the  rise in traffic accidents.

Drowsy driving isn't isolated to just daylight saving time. According to AAA, each year about 100,000 accidents are blamed on drowsy driving. Sleep specialists say, acknowledging the symptoms of drowsy driving could reduce that number by about 17,000.

That extra cup of coffee or boost from an energy drink, is often enough to give the everyday person an extra lift.

Most of us live lives that area little short on sleep to  begin with."

However, when you factor in that already lack of sleep, then take another hour away when daylight saving time arrives.The ability to simply stay awake becomes a bigger problem.

"What we see is a bump in accidents for the week after the daylight savings change each spring."

Dr. James Stocks specializes in sleep medicine at UT Health Northeast. With more than 100,000 car accidents blamed on drowsy driving, he says sleep depravation is an issue.

"Well like every body you have to chase that hour to catch up," said taxi driver Kevin Kinser.

"A trick is to keep your eyes moving , focus on different things," he said. 

Kinser says spending 12 hours a day in his car, he has to come up with ways to plan ahead of daylight saving.

"What I used to do is start on Friday and put my clock ahead at home so I'll already get used to it when I'm looking at the clock at home."
 
Dr. Stock says, while it may be hard to do, his best advice is to make yourself go to sleep early. Try to get between nine to 10 hours of sleep each night, and to steer clear of caffeinated drinks as bed time rolls around -- so you can fall asleep.

Losing one hour may not seem like much, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says for about a week and a half after springing forward, drowsy driving accidents go up.
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