Changing the clocks to accommodate Daylight Saving Time each spring may seem harmless enough. Unfortunately, more serious situations accompany the time change with a noted rise in the number of fatal car accidents in the days following the shift. According to studies, that one simple hour may make a major difference in the number of fatal collisions that occur.
Recent studies point to an increase in occurrences of serious and even fatal accidents in the days following Daylight Saving Time. Each year on the Monday after the time change, an average of more than 300 people are fatally injured in crashes. That’s a 17 percent increase from any other Monday during the year. Another report cites that the number of motor vehicle accidents that yield injuries and vehicle damage rose by 20 percent on Daylight Saving Monday. The week following setting the clocks forward showed a more than five percent (5%) increase in fatalities, proving how dangerous the loss of one hour can be.
Missing one hour of sleep disrupts the sleep cycle and stresses the system, which leads to less control over physical and mental faculties as well as the potential for drowsy driving. The likelihood of being involved in a crash is relative to the amount of sleep one has had.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers sleeping for six to seven hours as opposed to eight may be twice as likely to get into an accident, while a motorist who slept for five hours may be four to five times as likely to get into a collision. Sleep-deprived drivers, especially truckers who adhere to varied schedules, may not adjust to the time change as quickly as those who regularly get enough sleep.
Studies show that implementing a year-round Daylight Saving Time program may reduce the incidence of fatal accidents by a significant amount
Conversely, others argue that traveling to school in the dark may endanger children walking to school if officials enacted this type of program.
In order to beat sleep issues stemming from Daylight Saving Time, professionals advise that you turn in early the night before the time shift, allow yourself plenty of time for sleep, and be aware of drowsy drivers on the road.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey from our offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.