Some people enjoy Daylight Saving Time for the extra daylight they are afforded; others miss the extra hour of sleep they will lose to the time change. No matter the opinion, the time change that moves the clock an hour ahead for the spring will occur on March 10. Unfortunately, a result of Daylight Saving Time is an increased number of traffic wrecks, many of which result in serious injuries.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration collected over 20 years of data to document the increase in fatal car accidents that occurs in the days following the start of Daylight Saving Time. Officials who monitored the study did not anticipate any startling results from gathering the data but were surprised when a rise showed up in their report. They examined the days surrounding the time changes which include the Saturday before, the Sunday following the shift, and the Monday afterward.
An average of nearly 84 traffic wrecks occurred on Daylight Saving Monday while a typical Monday showed about 78 crashes. No evidence existed to support an increase in fatal car accidents on the Sunday after the time change. Regarding non-fatal crashes, the increase was about eight percent on the Monday following the time change. It is hard to believe that the loss of one hour could lead to such serious consequences, but it does, and here is why.
Americans already find it challenging to get enough sleep between handling family and work schedules while balancing taking care of their homes and sneaking in leisure time. The loss of the extra hour may cause sleep deprivation, which leads to drowsy driving. Any slight disruption to drivers’ sleep patterns may adversely affect their driving abilities and their faculties in general in the days following the time change when they are still adjusting to it. Another factor contributing to the rise in fatal auto wrecks may be attributed to the anticipation individuals experience when the “spring forward” portion of Daylight Saving Time is coming up. Lack of sleep puts excessive mental and physical stress on an individual as well.
If you or your loved one was seriously injured in a car accident because of a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel, the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will support your claim with skill and compassion. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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