Your risk of getting in an accident increases when the clocks go back

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As a result of the clocks rolling back, this week the sun has already set by the time many people are getting off work, and that can make your commute home more dangerous.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in Massachusetts, during the four weeks following the fall time change, there is a 55 percent increase in weekday crashes involving drivers between 5 and 6 p.m.

Crashes involving pedestrians also increase during this time.

“I believe that could happen very easily, yes,” said Westfield resident, Bill Poehlman. “That could be an issue for some people. Especially the older you get the more fatigue you get at the end of the day.”

Drowsy drivers are involved in roughly 21 percent of deadly crashes. 

But it’s not just being tired that increases your risk of crashing after we turn the clocks back.

“The other piece is there’s a visibility component and a psychosis of that I’m not use it being this dark at this time,” said AAA Pioneer Valley Vice President, Sandra Marsian. 

AAA suggests pulling over immediately in a safe place and resting if you’re tired and that drinking coffee, or driving with your windows open are not substitutes to sleeping.

This week is also Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, a time when parents are encouraged to speak to their teens about the dangers of driving while tired. 

Marsian said driving drowsy for teens is equally as dangerous as driving impaired or distracted driving.

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