Two times per year, people in the U.S. adjust their clocks to account for daylight saving time. Many people complain about daylight saving time because it throws off their sleep schedule, but as it turns out, there’s a far more serious reason to dislike the time change. Researchers believe that the time change could lead to a spike in traffic accidents. Here’s what you should know about the link between daylight saving time and traffic accidents:
Traffic Accidents After Time Changes
A team of researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed accident data for 10 years to determine if the time change affects the rate of crashes. The researchers discovered that there was a 17% percent increase in traffic accident fatalities on the Monday immediately following the time change that occurs in the spring. The increase in traffic fatalities was highest on this day, however it was higher than average throughout the entire week following the time change.
Why Daylight Saving Time Leads to Traffic Accidents
The results of this study indicate that daylight saving time could lead to an increase in traffic accidents, and it’s not hard to see why. When clocks are moved forward in the spring, everyone loses an hour of sleep. An hour may not seem like a significant amount of time, but losing this hour can confuse the body’s internal clock and lead to extreme drowsiness.
Getting behind the wheel while drowsy is never a good idea because it is much harder to pay attention to the road and react to changes in the environment when you’re tired. Because there are a lot more drowsy drivers on the road following the spring time change, the roads could be a lot more dangerous.
The time changes in the spring and fall also affect the amount of light drivers will have on the road. After the spring time change, mornings get darker for drivers, whereas after the fall time change, the evenings become much darker. Since the body is programmed to think it’s time to sleep when it’s dark outside, drivers may start to feel their eyelids getting heavy as they attempt to drive through the dark.
It’s important to be extra cautious when driving after a time change. Even if you are not tired, other drivers on the road probably are. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings in order to avoid a devastating collision.
Have you been injured by a drowsy driver? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Driving while drowsy is negligent behavior. Let our personal injury attorneys hold the drowsy driver accountable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.