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As Portland Prepares to ‘Fall Back’ for the Last Time, Be Aware of Night Driving Risks

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Car Accidents on October 29, 2019

The fall season brings more than just a change of scenery to Portland. Fall foliage and festivals make it a fun time to get out and about, but the increased hours of darkness make taking drives or attending events more of a risk. Poor night vision and drowsy driving are always a concern, but increase the likelihood of car accidents at this time of year. As Portland is preparing to ‘fall back’ from Daylight Savings Time, it is important to be aware of how changes at this time of year can impact you and others on the road. 

Portland Time Changes Nearing End

In June of 2019, Oregon lawmakers passed Senate Bill 320, which makes daylight savings time year round in our area. However, the law does not go into effect until January of 2020. As a result, people in Portland will set their clocks back one last time on November 3, 2019. Come spring 2020, they will ‘spring forward’ one last time, making it daylight savings time again. 

Time changes have long wreaked havoc on people’s sleep schedules. Losing an hour in spring, gaining one in fall, and dealing with the varying times of sunrise and nightfall can all make it difficult for your system to adjust. Unfortunately, this can have major impacts on drivers, making car accidents and injuries more likely. Night time driving in general tends to be more dangerous than at any other hour and being drowsy at the same time just increases the risks. 

Safety Tips for Fall Driving

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) sponsors Drowsy Driving Week each year and schedules it to occur during the week of the fall time change. This year’s campaign will be held from November 3rd through the 10th and aims at increasing awareness of the impact being tired has on driving abilities. 

According to the NSF, driving on less than eight hours of sleep is the equivalent of having several drinks before getting behind the wheel. It impacts your vision, judgement, coordination, and reaction times, making you a danger to yourself and others. The problems many face with night driving only increase the risks at this time of year. Steps you can take to protect yourself include: 

  • Get a checkup with your eye doctor and make suggested changes;
  • Be careful with sleep medication, which could still be in your system the next morning;
  • Avoid staring at other driver’s headlights or street lamps, which can cause temporary blindness;
  • Pull over and rest for a minute if you find yourself yawning and your eyes getting heavy on the road. 

Contact Our Portland Accident Attorneys

If you are involved in a car accident, reach out to the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. right away. We can help protect your rights in filing a claim, so that you can get the compensation you need to recover. To schedule a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today. 


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