WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Many commuters may feel tired driving home from work this week adjusting after the clocks rolled back

Findings from AAA show they face a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Massachusetts drivers: listen up. New research from AAA shows an increase in weekday crashes this time of year across the state.

"We typically see a rise in the state of Massachusetts of traffic accidents to increase by 55 percent, which is significant...55 percent," said Sandra Marsian with AAA Pioneer Valley.

Marsian told Western Mass News that crash data analyzed over a seven year span found motorists driving during 5 to 6 p.m. are more likely to be in an accident

Crashes involving Bay State pedestrians tripled during that time frame.

"Dusk comes at a different time. That's the most difficult time to see pedestrians and even things like a deer running out in the road, we need to be more alert not less alert," Marsian noted.

Drivers that Western Mass News spoke to said they're feeling the time change.

"I feel more tired in the evening especially," said Joyce Beaulieu of Wilbraham.

Judi Lane of Feeding Hills added, "No more brightness outside. It's very very hard to see."

Drowsy drivers may find they have trouble keeping their eyes open on the roads, even crossing over into the other lane, forgetting the few miles they've just driven.

If you're among the many drivers out there feeling drowsy this week, it turns out that feeling is not going away soon.

"We usually see this within four weeks after the time change. It throws off our sleep cycle, so we may not be sleeping as well because we're going to bed at a different time and our bodies are adjusting," Marsian said.

Drivers across the Pioneer Valley are using caution

"Because it's darker out and I'm 65, so yeah, you gotta be more careful," said John Leveille of Montgomery.

Marisan said drivers feeling drowsy should open the window for fresh air or pull over to walk around or even take a 20 minute nap.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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