Daylight Saving Time and Car Accidents

March 2, 2020

Daylight saving time (DST) is proving to be one of the most dangerous times of the year. Each March when the clocks springs forward, hospitals report a 24 percent spike in heart attacks. When the clocks turn back an hour, hospital visits due to heart attacks drop 21 percent. The clock shift shows just how sensitive our bodies are to changing sleep schedules.

Along with heart attacks, there is also an increase in fatal car accidents in the days following DST. As drivers try to adjust to the time change, drowsy driving becomes prevalent on the roads. If you were involved in a car accident in the days following DST, you may be eligible for compensation.

Shifting the Clocks Forward Disrupts Sleep

Shifting the clocks forward for DST deprives the body of an extra hour of sleep; the body may not fully recover from this time change for weeks. Disruption in your sleep schedule can have negative effects on physical and mental health.

Daylight Saving Time and Car Accidents

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford analyzed 21 years of fatal car accident data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. They found a notable increase in car accident deaths the morning after the spring clock shift. The amount of deaths went from 78.2 on a normal Monday to 83.5 on the Monday after the spring clock change.

Being deprived of sleep can have a negative effect on your reaction time which can be dangerous when operating a moving vehicle. It may also increase your chances of falling asleep at the wheel, even if it is just for a few seconds. According to researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who sleep between six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a car accident than people who sleep eight hours. Drivers who sleep only five hours a night are four to five times more likely to be involved in a car accident.

The clock shift forward does not only have negative effects on drivers, there are also reports of an increase in the number of workplace accidents as well as a temporary increase in suicides.

States That Ignore Daylight Saving Time

Not every state in the country acknowledges DST, Hawaii and Alaska ignore the clock shift altogether. California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Idaho are actively trying to get rid of DST. However, the final decision is made by Congress, states cannot decide for themselves.

Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Clients Injured in Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation. Drowsy driving can happen at any time of the year, but the days following DST are especially dangerous. Our experienced Delaware County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses and will fight hard to protect your rights. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we also serve clients in Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.