Numerous studies suggest that more fatal car accidents occur in the days following the change of clocks for daylight saving time. Every March, we set our clocks forward one hour and then move them back again in November. This shift in time, however slight, requires the body to adjust its sleep cycle — a process that can take up to a week. It is during this period of adjustment that researchers see an increase in accidents of all kinds.
In the spring, when clocks are set forward by one hour — taking an hour of daylight away from the morning and shifting it to the evening — an hour of sleep is lost. This may seem insignificant, but anyone receiving less than seven hours of sleep may be prone to slower reaction times, drowsy driving, and an increased risk of accidents. Teens, especially, require a lot of sleep, and with early start times for high school may not be receiving enough.
Also, some people use their extra hour to stay out late drinking, adding drunk driving to the list of issues caused by the daylight saving time shift. Another problem may be truck accidents caused by drivers under time constraints that have not had a chance to adjust to the time change.
In the fall, when clocks are set back, it makes the early evening hours much darker and increases the risk of pedestrian accidents and fatalities. Drivers unaccustomed to the dark during their commute may not be watching for pedestrians out enjoying walks. In fact, more pedestrians are killed during daylight saving time changes than at any other time of year.
Steps you can take to avoid being in an accident during the weeks following daylight saving time include receiving sufficient sleep on the night the clocks are changed, paying special attention to proximate drivers when you are on the road, and wearing light or reflective clothing while out walking during the newly darker morning hours.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, or suffered injuries yourself, contact an experienced Delaware County car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for a free evaluation of your case. We will fight to obtain the maximum compensation available to you. Call 610-565-3700 today or contact us online. We have convenient locations in Media and West Chester serving satisfied clients throughout the greater Philadelphia area, including Delaware County and Chester County.