Is the End of Daylight Saving Time Dangerous for Drivers?

October 25, 2021
daylight savings time

When daylight saving time (DST) ends in November, everyone gains an extra hour of sleep when the clocks “fall back.” However, the sudden time change can cause more harm than good.

Disrupting your sleep schedule can lead to increased fatigue, irritability, and other adverse health conditions, especially for those who commute to work every day. This makes the roads more dangerous in the days following DST.

There have been many studies over the years of the negative impacts of DST, particularly in the fall. It is believed that the sudden shift of time causes fatigue and drowsy driving, one of the main causes of car accidents. Some effects of the time change include:

  • Circadian rhythm: The time shift affects your circadian rhythm. This leads to increased irritability, fatigue, and even a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder. Irritability and fatigue can cause motorists to drive poorly.
  • Lack of awareness: A driver’s awareness is also negatively affected. Leaving work when it is dark outside can convince the body it is later than what it is, making the person drowsy.
  • Reduced visibility: When commuting to work, you may be used to seeing signs or objects by the road that are less visible now because it is darker earlier in the day when DST ends. You will have to prepare for more nighttime driving.
  • Fatigue: Many people fail to prepare their mind and body before the time change. Drowsy driving is one of the main causes of car accidents, especially during this time of year.

How Can I Prepare for the End of DST?

Experts agree that drivers need enough sleep to reduce the likelihood of car accidents when the clocks fall back. It is recommended to prepare for the time change a week before DST ends. Here are a few more safety tips:

  • Start going to bed an hour earlier the week before the end of DST so that your body becomes accustomed to the change.
  • Make sure to get enough rest before traveling. The weather gets cooler in the fall, and there is a better chance of overnight freezing for the morning commute.
  • Be cautious when near pedestrian crossings or intersections.
  • Never drive while distracted, especially in the fall when visibility is poor.
  • Always maintain a safe following distance between your car and the vehicle in front.

Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Those Injured by Drowsy Drivers in the Fall

The end of DST can be a dangerous time for drivers. If you have been injured by a drowsy or otherwise negligent driver, our Delco car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.