March 11th marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time with the resultant loss of one hour of sleep.
Statistics have shown that there is a significantly elevated risk of a collision if a driver has slept for fewer than 7 hours in the previous 24. The estimated crash risk associated with driving after only 4-5 hours of sleep, compared with 7 hours or more, is similar to that of driving while legally drunk. Having less than 4 hours of sleep, renders the driver as impaired as he or she would be at twice the legal limit of blood alcohol. There is even a higher risk of collision when drivers sleep for one or more hours less than they usually sleep, independent of how much they usually sleep.
Teens, older adults, and people with sleep disorders are in the highest risk group. The most critical time periods are morning rush hours, between 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and between midnight to 3:00 am. More than half of drivers involved in fatigue-related crashes experienced no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.
The Canada Safety Council recommends frequent rest stops and shared driving duties to reduce the risk .