Each year when daylight saving time (DST) occurs, we move our clocks forward one hour and lose sleep. The shift in time increases the amount of light in the evening, but it also means mornings are darker. Studies show that the time change has adverse effects in the 48 states that participate in DST, including an increase in fatal car accidents.
Increase in Fatal Car Accidents
According to researchers at the University of Colorado, fatal car accidents increase in the week that immediately follows DST. Most likely, this is due to the combination of darker morning hours and drowsy drivers. The spike in accidents was six percent higher than average; however, the study only looked at fatalities, researchers say that the true danger is underestimated. Pedestrians are also more at risk after DST because they are easily overlooked by drivers who are not used to starting their daily commute in darkness.
Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving because fatigue greatly reduces a driver’s reaction time. The average American is sleep deprived, so DST presents an even greater risk for an accident to occur.
Preventing Daylight Saving Time Accidents
The European Union has voted to eliminate DST in 2021, and many states in the United States have introduced legislation to put an end to the practice. For now, DST still remains along with its adverse effects. Drivers must prepare for the time change on March 8 at 2 a.m., it is important to remember to:
- Get enough sleep the week before the time change so that you begin the week well rested.
- Be vigilant and watch for pedestrians and cyclists in the newly darkened morning hours.
- Wear light colored reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, and use a bike headlight if you are traveling on foot or on bike.
- Drive defensively the week the clocks are changed. Use extra caution at intersections, during lane changes, and when entering highways.
- Keep an eye out for drowsy drivers and truck drivers whose irregular schedules may prevent them from quickly adjusting to the time change.
Doylestown Car Accident Lawyers at Falcon Law Firm, LLC Advocate for Those injured by Drowsy Drivers
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Drowsy driving is dangerous, and the upcoming time change will cause the roads to become more hazardous as drivers adapt to the change. Our experienced Doylestown car accident lawyers at Falcon Law Firm, LLC provide skilled representation and will fight to get you the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Contact us online or call us at 732-660-1200 to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case. With offices located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.