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Time change leaves exhausted driver asleep at the wheel

Mar 13 2012

Victoria police say the hour's loss of sleep due to Sunday's "spring forward" to daylight saving time affected at least one driver Monday morning, whom they found at a red light asleep behind the wheel.

The incident fits in with statistics from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. that indicate the first Monday after the time change is annually one of the worst days for car crashes.

Around 7:30 a.m., a B.C. Transit bus driver called police to report a man slumped over the wheel of his Ford Explorer at the intersection of Hillside Avenue and Douglas Street, police spokesman Const. Mike Russell said.

The 29-year-old Victoria man "admitted to being very tired," Russell said.

A study by ICBC shows a 23 per cent spike in collisions the first work day after daylight time begins. This is because fatigue impairs brain functions as much as alcohol, reducing drivers' ability to respond quickly and accurately behind the wheel.

The man in this case was ticketed under the Motor Vehicle Act.

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