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The Correlation Between Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Collisions

The Time Change Increases Fatal Accidents

Daylight Savings Time (DST) has been a grievance to millions of people around the world for over a century. Originally created during WWI as a way to conserve energy throughout the year, the act of rolling your clocks forward and back an hour during the spring and fall is a tedious task for any homeowner. However, newer research indicates that this time change also correlates to an increase in fatal crashes across the United States.

Impacts of Drowsy Driving

Researchers from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System have been analyzing the relationship between these two acts since the mid-1990s, and their studies provide significant evidence of there being negative safety impacts associated with Daylight Savings. The greatest of which being the spike in drowsy driving.

Common verbiage associated with the springtime change is that you “lose an hour of sleep.” However, this does not mean that most people use this as an opportunity to go to bed an hour earlier the night before it happens. Because of this, many drivers are getting behind the wheel feeling more tired than usual. This is ultimately what is contributing to the 6 percent increase in fatal collisions the week following DST, a rate that increases the closer you live to the western edge of your time zone.

Why Drowsy Driving Matters

Similar to drunk driving, being tired behind the wheel can impact the rate at which a driver makes decisions, as well as pays attention to and assesses potential hazards. Add this onto the extra potential of falling asleep behind the wheel and it’s not surprising that DST provides such a shift in fatal accident probability.

Although several researchers and doctors have suggested that it’s better for everyone’s overall health to get rid of DST altogether (states like Hawaii and Arizona choose to not observe it), there is not a clear indication that it will be going away anytime soon - especially considering that most House bills on the topic die on the floor. The best way to combat it, for now, is to make sure that you’re taking care of your body and giving it the rest it needs.

Avoid Negligent Actions While Driving

What most people may not know is that drowsy driving can be considered negligence, and falling asleep behind the wheel contributes to over 6,000 accidents each year. If you or a loved one was recently involved in a collision with a drowsy driver that resulted in injury or death, Bruce Bentley, Attorney At Law can help.

Our Kentucky car accident attorneys have over 30 years of experience combatting negligence on the roads and will fight to get the maximum compensation for your case. Call (606) 332-2494 to schedule a free consultation and get started today.
 

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