More Car Accidents During “Spring Forward” Daylight Savings February 19, 2020
According to new research, there is a 6% to 8% increase in car crash injuries and deaths during the workweek that follows the “spring forward” to daylight savings. Many states have considered ending daylight savings altogether due to a variety of observed problems, such as a greater number of workplace injuries, heart attacks, and strokes during that same week. This year, spring forward will begin on Sunday, March 8th.
In the United States, there are approximately 6 million car accidents every year – and already, more than 90 people die in car crashes daily. Researchers believe that car accidents are more likely in the workweek following daylight savings for a few reasons. Since the time jumps forward by an hour, people lose – not gain – an hour of sleep. It also means that morning commuters travel to work in darkness. During the “fall back” change, there is a notable decrease in morning automobile crashes and an increase in nighttime accidents (because the time moves back an hour instead) but during spring forward, the opposite is true; morning accidents are far more likely to occur.
Research consistently shows that having more morning light and less evening light is better for a person’s sleep cycle and overall health. Yet without having standard time in place, every spring forward brings with it an extra hour of morning darkness – and the tragic increase in car crash-related injuries and deaths. Researchers think there may be even more than an 8% jump in these incidents, since agencies tend to report only the most severe and deadly of accidents that happen. Health experts believe that it can take people weeks to adjust to the changes brought about by spring forward daylight savings, but the consequences from a crash happen in just seconds.
Daylight savings was first implemented as an energy-saving measure in Germany during World War I. Today, less than half of all the countries in the world use the practice, and here, not all states use it either. Arizona and Hawaii are both on standard time, and other states (such as Pennsylvania, California, Washington, and Florida) have been trying to get rid of daylight savings as well. Since daylight savings is still in effect, people need to take extra precautions to stay safe behind the wheel during this upcoming spring forward. Some of the useful safety tips for avoiding preventable accidents while driving include:
- Always make sure to check the mirrors and adjust the seat when first getting into the vehicle,
- If you are fatigued or too tired to drive, pull over immediately and if need be, come up with another mode of transportation (e.g. Uber, taking a train or bus, etc.),
- No distractions behind the wheel. Dangerous distractions include using a phone, eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, changing navigation settings, and more,
- Follow all posted signs and obey speed limits,
- Be mindful of blind spots, and:
- Always wear a seatbelt.
Getting into a car accident can result in a variety of injuries ranging from mild to fatal. Some common injuries associated with automobile crashes include neck and back injuries, like spinal cord damage, herniated discs, whiplash, strains, and sprains, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, internal bleeding, broken bones, burn injuries, and soft tissue injuries.
We want our readers to remember that the workweek following spring forward (which will begin at 2 A.M. on Sunday, March 8th) is extra dangerous for drivers and passengers and to please stay safe out there. If you were in an automobile accident and experienced an injury or disability that makes it difficult to pay medical bills or perform work tasks, someone at our firm can help. Give us a call today to speak with a representative directly.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Automobile Accident Victims
If you were injured in an automobile accident, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.