SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — With Daylight Saving Time just around the corner, the Utah Department of Transportation is reminding the public of travel risks associated with the time change.

Daylight saving will begin on Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m., meaning your clocks will spring forward to 3 a.m. once 2 a.m. hits — or you’ll need to manually set them forward yourself.

With that, UDOT officials worry that the loss of an hour may result in drowsiness in drivers and poor visibility in the morning as everyone is leaving home earlier than before.

Driving in the dark increases the risk of a fatal crash, especially one involving a pedestrian, UDOT officials said. Here are some safe traveling tips drivers should be aware of:

  • Drivers should always be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians or motorcyclists. Slow down if needed, especially in neighborhoods, near schools and around intersections. 
  • Vulnerable roadway users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists) should do everything in their power to be seen by drivers. Wear reflective gear and lights, be predictable, use traffic safety devices, obey traffic laws and make eye contact with drivers.
  • All road users should drive sober, eliminate distractions and best focus on the task of driving/walking/biking. 
  • Parents should talk to children and teens about the risks and safety tips for daylight saving. 

Drivers should also recognize that it takes time for the body to adjust to losing an hour of sleep. If you feel sleepy when you’re driving, always pull over to a safe spot and take a power nap. Other than that, UDOT officials suggest Utahns prepare for daylight saving by going to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual for the next two nights and waking up 15 minutes earlier than they’re used to.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are advised to wear reflective clothes as well as obey all traffic laws. Make eye contact with drivers and be predictable.

According to UDOT, Utah has seen 12,556 crashes and 40 fatalities so far this year.

Utahns should also expect later sunsets with daylight saving in place. According to ABC4 weather experts, the sun will be beginning to set at 7:30 p.m. after the time change. By the end of March, Utahns won’t be able to see the sunset until around 7:50 p.m.

For more information, visit Zero Fatalities managed by UDOT.