Daylight Savings Dangers in Virginia Loom During the Morning Commute
Daylight savings began earlier today when the clocks sprang forward an hour. However, the potential daylight savings dangers in Virginia are unlikely to be seen until Monday morning’s commute.
That’s when more tired drivers get on the highways of Hampton Roads. Typically, daylight savings is associated with a small but significant increase in accidents.
While the clocks springing forward in the spring is associated with lighter nights, few people realize the daylight savings dangers in Virginia.
The changing of the clocks both in the spring and the fall disrupts our sleep patterns and may increase the chance of being involved in a wreck, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder related to daylight savings.
The research revealed how fatal motor vehicle accidents increase after the clocks go forward in March. The elevated risk lasts beyond the first six days after the clocks spring ahead. More fatal accidents are reported over a six-day period.
The study entitled, “Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes” was written by Austin C. Smith. During the first six days of daylight saving time there were 302 deaths on average and a cost of $2.75 billion over a 10-year period.
The Monday after the clocks go forward is the most dangerous day. Statistics highlighted a 17 percent rise in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the shift. The University of Colorado research suggested the single hour causes a significant disruption in driver’s sleep cycles.
When our sleep is disrupted we are more likely to be a danger on the roads. Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found motorists who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash than people who sleep eight hours or more.
Sleeping less than 5 hours a night increases the danger of being involved in a crash by four or five times. The AAA warns more than 250,000 people fall asleep while driving some for a just a microsecond. Just a few seconds of drowsiness can be deadly.
Mary Maguire of AAA said:
“When the clocks change — whether it is falling back or springing forward, peoples’ sleep cycles are interrupted, and when sleep cycles are interrupted, they tend to be drowsy.”
Daylight savings was intended to save energy and increase productivity. It was first used in Port Arthur, Ontario, today’s Thunder Bay in Canada in 1908.
You should be aware of the daylight savings dangers in Virginia. Be vigilant if you are driving on the roads next week and pull over and drink a coffee if you feel drowsy. If you are injured due to the actions of a sleepy driver, call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.