Daylight Savings Time slated for this Sunday

This weekend will feature a day with only 23 hours and the potential for people to miss out on some sleep.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11. Clocks in most of the United States will jump ahead from 1:59:59 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is generally a phenomenon of North America and Europe, where it is nearly universal. Parts of South America and Australia also observe DST, as do some areas of the Middle East and a sliver of northwestern Africa.

Until Standard Time returns in the fall, people in areas that observe DST will have an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, but one less in the morning.

It went into widespread, worldwide use during World War I and again during World War II as a way to conserve fuel.

PennDOT urges people to plan ahead for the change and avoid a shortage of sleep.

“Ahead of Daylight Savings Time, which starts at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11, PennDOT reminded drivers to plan for the switch and make sure they still get ample sleep before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to avoid the risks of drowsy driving,” a release from Safety Press Officer Jill Harry said. “Lack of sleep can cause many of the same dangerous driving behaviors as impaired driving, including slowed reaction times and reduced concentration.”

“Fatigued drivers can have trouble seeing, understanding and remembering things,” Harry said. “Motorists who begin to feel drowsy or fatigued, should stop driving until they are rested. Sleep is the only remedy for drowsiness.”

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates drowsy driving is a contributing factor in as many as 1.2 million crashes each year, resulting in 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities,” she said. “Drowsy-driving crashes most frequently occur between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late-afternoon.”