OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – AAA Oklahoma is warning drivers of the time change on Sunday and the dangers on the road as it gets dark earlier.

“Reduced visibility and the prevalence of drowsy driving are just two of the dangers that drivers face on dark roads,” said Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “It’s up to all of us to do our part to stay alert and be careful when driving at night.”

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, in 2020, more crashes occurred between 5 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. than any other hour of the day and motorists should stay safe and alert the moment the sun begins to set.

AAA recommends wearing high-quality sunglasses and adjusting the car’s sun visors as needed. Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so drivers should take the same precautions. Use of the night setting on rearview mirrors can reduce glare from headlights approaching from the rear.

According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research:

•   Drivers who have slept less than five hours have a crash risk comparable to someone driving  drunk.

•   Drivers who miss one or two hours of sleep can nearly double their risk of a crash.

•   96% of drivers view drowsy driving as extremely dangerous, but about a quarter (24%) admit to driving drowsy when they are so tired they have a hard time keeping their eyes open.

As Oklahomans do more driving in the dark, AAA recommends drivers:

•   Prioritize getting at least seven hours of sleep before a long drive.

•   Travel at times of the day when you are normally awake.

•   Avoid eating heavy foods before driving.

•   Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

AAA Oklahoma urges motorists to be more cautious of deer sightings and crashes. November and December are among the most dangerous months of the year for motor vehicle collisions with animals.

Some great tips for drivers start with, according to AAA Oklahoma, is having plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and if you find yourself drowsy while driving, pull over immediately and rest, contact a family member or 911 for assistance.