Daylight Savings Time Leads to Distracted Driving?
With the beginning of November, comes the end to daylight savings time. Turning the clock forward in the Spring and back in the Fall is a normal occurrence. With the primary goal, saving energy, do we see the value in the era of a modern day world? According to the historical aspects of daylight savings time, it was primary instituted and extended during times of war. We first saw it enacted in the U.S. during both World Wars and extended during the Oil Embargo of the 70s. The current schedule is based on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. But after all that, when does it become a danger? When should you be really concerned about DST?
Well, research will tell you. In October of 2014, a study was done by scientists at The University of Colorado – Boulder. The studies specifically looked at the “social costs” of DST and lead to the discussion that some of the high costs resulting from DST, come in the form of fatal car crashes.
Car Accidents Caused by Sleepy Drivers
More specifically, the research pointed to a direct relationship between the “disruption of sleep schedules and the reallocating ambient light from morning to the evening” and how that affects drivers. (Here’s a link to the report.) In fact, the report suggests that there is over a 6% increase in fatal crashes among the 6 days immediately following the spring change, claiming DST may be responsible for 302 deaths of the 10 year sample period reviewed. The main cause of the accidents is sleep deprivation.
So what does this say for you, the average citizen just trying to get as many ZZZZs as you can on Sunday nights? Be careful when you get up to drive on Monday morning!
Advise from Your Car Accident Lawyers
Keep in mind, the report does show that during the Fall transition, DST may not have such a large effect, because of the hour you actually gain. However, your “sleep clock” still may be disoriented. And frankly, you might just crave lunch an hour earlier, which could lead to some “hangry” issues during the work day. Just be aware of the change and adjust your schedule accordingly.
We suggest you ease yourself into the change in time and get ready, because more importantly, cold mornings will turn frigid in the coming months, and that will bring you all sorts of new worries.