DMV steps up traffic enforcement as daylight saving time comes to an end

Officials all over D.C., Maryland and Virginia are warning drivers to be especially careful out on the roads starting this weekend.

One of the big reasons why is daylight saving time.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

"We may in fact be drowsy behind the wheel without even really knowing so," explained AAA Mid-Atlantic Public & Government Affairs Manager Ragina Ali.

AAA isn’t the only group voicing those concerns. The D.C. Department of Transportation posted a message on Instagram, reading, "Daylight saving time ends this Sunday. Don’t fall back on roadway safety."

Meanwhile, police departments, including in Arlington, are stepping up traffic enforcement.

AAA points out that sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 injuries on American roadways every year, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

READ MORE: Daylight saving time ends Sunday, and many Americans ticked off over back-and-forth

"Be cognizant of your body and the changes that your body is going through because of the change in your sleep patterns," Ali said. "We’re all happy to get that extra hour of sleep, but it’s also important that we know that that certainly could impact our behaviors behind the wheel."

Officials running a program called Street Smart are driving home the point by showing the tragic consequences that can come from dangerous driving, pointing to a video narrated by a mother named Kenniss Henry.

Henry’s daughter, Natasha Pettigrew, was killed when she was hit by an SUV while out biking on the road.

"We have got to do a better job keeping each other safe," Henry said in the video. "If Natasha were here, I know she’d be the one out front leading the charge."


For more information about the Street Smart program, click here.