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Does Daylight Savings Time Cause Auto Accidents?

October 25, 2021

Does Daylight Savings Time Cause Auto Accidents?Daylight savings time does more than mess with our circadian rhythm and can make us feel tired and sluggish for much of the winter. As the days get shorter, and the nights longer, it can feel like we’re stuck in a never-ending winter season with more dark than sunlight. In some cases, this can lead to an increase in motor vehicle accidents.

Why Daylight Savings Time Contributes to Auto Accidents

The shorter days and darker hours that come with Daylight Savings Time can lead to an increase in auto accidents. There are a few reasons for this, including:

  • Driving in the dark: Driving in the dark can reduce visibility. Studies show that it can take drivers up to a week before they adjust to darker commutes.
  • Fatigued driving: Not only can darkness make us feel like we’re more tired, but it can also lead to you getting less sleep. This can lead to more fatigued drivers on the road.
  • Rushing to work: Getting less sleep, and the confusion that can come from adjusting to the new schedule can make more people rush to work. This can contribute to more dangerous roads.
  • Winter weather: Daylight savings time leads to it getting dark earlier in the winter. This is a time when the roads are already at more risk of being dangerous due to more ice and snow.

These are just a few of the causes that lead to an increase in accidents during Daylight Savings Time. People have proposed a change to this schedule, stating that getting rid of Daylight Savings Time altogether could reduce the number of associated accidents by a significant number. Despite this push, Daylight Savings Time continues to exist.

When is Daylight Savings Time?

This year’s daylight savings time began on Sunday, March 14, and will end on November 7, 2021. Here are a few tips you can use to reduce your risk of auto accidents:

  • Account for the lost hour: Losing an hour when you’re already stretching your days full can cause you to lose an hour of sleep. Try to account for the loss of the hour by going to bed an hour earlier. Give yourself plenty of time that weekend to sleep in.
  • Avoid speeding: Until your body adjusts to the darker mornings and evenings, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to commute.
  • Wear reflective clothing: If you rely on public transportation, or you walk your child to the school bus each morning, be sure you can be easily seen. Wear bright colors or use reflective tape over your clothes. If you feel more tired and sluggish while on foot, it’s likely the drivers feel the same way.
  • Avoid distractions: Fatigued driving has many of the same effects as driving under the influence. Adding distracted driving to the mix can be dangerous.

While many dread Daylight Savings Time, it’s just a part of living on the east coast that we have to deal with. Anticipating the darker morning and evening commutes can help you stay safe on the road. It’s also a good idea to prepare for the change in schedule by giving yourself extra time to sleep on the weekend of the change.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Auto Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to an auto accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured because of an accident in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 368-8398 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 355 Fifth Avenue, The Park Building, Suite 205, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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