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Daylight Savings Time Increases Car Accident Risks


Driving a car is a complex task that requires a variety of both physical and cognitive skills. Any type of change in your health or circumstances has the potential to impact your driving abilities, making car accidents more likely to happen. It is important to remember this with recent time changes, as car crashes and collisions tend to spike in the aftermath.

Daylight Savings Time and Car Accident Risks

Daylight savings time began March 14, 2021. While many of us enjoy the extra daylight in the evening, the lost hour that results and the fact that the sun rises and sets later can affect our sleep schedules. This can impact your overall health, as well as your driving abilities.

According to Healthline, car accident risks increase by close to 10 percent in the weeks following daylight savings times. Darkness during early morning commutes, increased activities during the day, and later bedtimes are all factors, but ultimately drowsy driving is to blame. Even mild disruptions in your sleep schedule can cause symptoms similar to jet lag, Impacts these have on driving abilities include:

  • Decreased focus or concentration and increased risk of distracted driving;
  • Vision disturbances, such as watering eyes due to yawning and double vision;
  • Slow response times, which can be a major problem in heavy traffic or when unexpected events happen;
  • Lack of coordination, making it harder to coordinate steering, braking, and other driving maneuvers;
  • Increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

All of these make car accidents more likely to happen and put you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk.

Protecting Yourself On The Road

Daylight savings time has become an increasingly controversial topic. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in addition to higher car accident rates in the weeks after, there are also higher rates of workplace accidents and health issues, such as heart attacks and strokes.

A few states have done away with daylight savings time altogether. However, as Florida still observes time changes, it is important for drivers in Bradenton to take steps to reduce their risks. These include:

  • Make an effort to continue going to sleep at the same time each day;
  • Allow extra time in the morning to ensure you are fully awake before getting behind the wheel;
  • Avoid other distractions, such as eating or drinking coffee while driving on your way to work;
  • Give other drivers plenty of space on the road;
  • Recognize other drivers are likely to have slower reaction times and avoid sudden moves, such as pulling out in front of people or slamming on the brakes

Let Us Help You Today

At the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely, we have a proven track record of success in getting clients the compensation they need to recover from car accident injuries. To discuss how we can help you, call or contact our Bradenton car accident attorney online and request a consultation today.