How Does Daylight Savings Time Increase Car Accidents?

Daylight Savings Time

Many people strongly believe we should have Daylight Saving Time (DST). Some prefer having more light in the evening. Daylight Saving Time begins mid-March. Is it a good idea?

Some evidence suggests that DST leads to a spike in auto-related accidents. More information on this vital topic is below. If you were in a car accident recently, our Lake County car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Robert Edens, P.C. can help.

What Is Daylight Saving Time?

DST is when we move our clocks forward an hour in the spring, as the practice of moving clocks forward an hour in many countries as warmer weather occurs in the spring. Then, the time is turned back to Standard Time in the fall. DST is intended to offer better use of available daylight hours by raising the number of evening hours.

Are There More Car Crashes After DST Begins?

Opinions differ about whether DST is a good idea. However, science suggests that moving clocks ahead one hour in the spring could cause more car crashes. For example, the University of Colorado at Boulder reported in January 2020 that its study of 732,000 crashes over 20 years showed a 6% rise in fatal auto accidents that week. That increase led to approximately 28 more crash deaths every year.

The study was reported in the January 2020 edition of Current Biology. It also noted that the farther west people live in their time zones, the greater the risk of fatal car accidents.

These findings were reported at a time when many states are thinking about doing away with DST. Evidence suggests that DST may increase workplace injuries, strokes, and heart attacks.

Why Does DST Cause More Car Crashes?

Some scientists believe that the loss of an hour in the evening every spring causes Americans to have ‘jetlag’ that is stronger in the first few days after the time change. The symptoms can linger for up to two weeks. Statistics also suggest that drivers lose 40 minutes of sleep on the night of DST in addition to the one-hour change.

Interrupted sleep may tire us, leading to poor decisions and driver fatigue. Also, less light in the morning can have a negative effect on driving safely.

How To Adapt To DST

Reduce your risk of a car accident after DST takes effect with these tips:

  • Reduce cell phone and TV light exposure before bed.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, and heavy meals before bed. Eat dinner a few minutes earlier per night.
  • Go to bed 20 minutes earlier each night before the time change.
  • Set your clocks ahead the afternoon before the time change and go to bed at your regular time.

Speak To Our Lake County Car Accident Lawyers Now

Were you in a car accident recently in Lake County near Six Flags Great America, the Chicago Botanic Garden, or another location? Evidence suggests more auto accidents after Daylight Saving Time begins each spring. If you were in an accident caused by someone’s negligence and have injuries, you need a personal injury lawyer. Contact our Lake County car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Robert Edens, P.C. now at (847) 395-2200.