Does Daylight Savings Lead to More Drowsy Driving Accidents?
If you find it hard to wake up in the morning, you’ll be happy on Nov. 2 when the clocks fall back, giving you an extra hour in bed.
The Daylight Savings changes date back to the Standard Time Act of 1918 and the need to conserve coal use and energy during the war. Benjamin Franklin had apparently suggested the idea back in 1784, as a way to economize on sunlight and burn fewer candles during winter mornings and nights.
But while we may welcome a morning without hitting the snooze button, there are also some drawbacks to the changes beyond the fact the energy conservation advantages are at best marginal. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the auto accident rate rose after both the spring and fall changes. In the spring, the lost hour of sleep makes drivers more tired and thus more prone to end up in an accident. But the accident rate also rises after the clocks fall back in the fall. Why? Because the extra hour appears to disrupt people’s sleep cycles making them more drowsy.
“The general concept supporting the case is that subtle changes in sleep patterns and circadian rhythms can alter human alertness and, in some cases, might increase the risk of potentially fatal car accidents,” states the website Livescience.
You should be cognizant of how subtle sleep changes can affect you behind the wheel. Here are some tips from WebMD to help you ease your way into the new sleep cycle.
Every year drowsiness causes many fatal car accidents in Virginia. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by drowsiness or another factor you may have grounds for legal recourse. As a Virginia car accident lawyer, I’m always concerned about any factor that leads to a spike in auto accidents. If you have been hurt by another driver you should consider contacting us for a free consultation. Call 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com. Cooper Hurley is the author of Top Twenty Tips for Car, Truck or Motorcycle Accidents. Always make sure you have sufficient insurance. Many people only have the $25,000 minimum which may not be enough to protect yourself or your family after a wreck with injuries.