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Daylight Saving Time Increases Drowsy Driving Car Accident Risks


Each year, at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, Bradenton residents ‘spring forward’ and set their clocks one hour ahead. Later sunsets during Daylight Saving Time are a benefit, but there are some serious risks. Time changes disrupt our internal clocks and can have major impacts on our sleep schedules.  Our Bradenton car accident lawyer explains how this can result in drowsy driving and increases the likelihood of crashes and collisions.

The Risks Associated With Time Changes

Daylight Saving Time originally started as a way to conserve energy and resources in World War I. In the years since there has been much debate on whether it offers any tangible benefits. One thing for sure is that it carries inherent risks.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), time changes impact the body’s circadian rhythms, which rely on signals from the brain. Setting the clock ahead an hour in the spring and then back again in the fall can cause serious disruptions that impact health and safety. Common problems that can occur in the weeks following include:

  • Higher incidence of heart attacks and strokes;
  • Respiratory issues, aggravating asthma and allergy symptoms;
  • Flare-ups in immune-related diseases, such as Lupus and Crohn’s disease;
  • Mental health problems and behavior disorders;
  • Increased personal injury risks.

How To Reduce Drowsy Driving Risks During Time Changes

The NIH reports that there is a noticeable increase in car accident rates after time changes. These can often be attributed to drowsy driving. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) warns that missing even an hour of sleep can have dangerous impacts on your driving abilities. It can negatively affect your judgment, vision, coordination, and reflexes, and poses serious hazards to you and others on the roads. The NSF advises that ways to help reduce drowsy driving risks and help you body better adjust to time changes include:

  • Slowly adjust your sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to and after daylight savings time;
  • Adopt good pre-sleep habits, such as refraining from coffee or other stimulants and putting away your cell phone and other devices at least an hour before bed;
  • Make sure you are eating properly and getting regular exercise;
  • Take a quick 20-minute nap during the day, if needed.

In general, It is best to avoid driving at night or any time you are excessively tired or fatigued. Give other drivers plenty of room on the road and be alert for signs other motorists may be sleep deprived, such as failing to observe traffic signs and signals or weaving in and out of lanes.

Injured In A Crash? Contact Our Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer

At the law office of Steven G. Lavely, we provide the professional legal representation you need when car accidents in Bradenton leave you or those you love suffering serious personal injuries. Let us help you get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim. To request a consultation, call or contact our Bradenton car accident lawyer online today.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sources: