While most people cannot wait for days to grow longer, there is a downside to the daylight savings time change. Once the clocks turn an extra hour forward, which will occur on Sunday, March 11, car accidents are known to spike for several days following the shift. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that over the course of a decade, there were 302 additional fatalities over the six-day period following daylight savings time, and damages costing more than $2.75 billion. In fact, the total number of crashes on the Monday after daylight savings time increased by 17 percent.
The lost hour of sleep disturbs driver’s sleep cycles, and it takes several days to normalize. Drowsy driving immediately after daylight savings may occur in the morning, when drivers are more tired because their sleep rhythm has not adjusted to the new time, or later in the day because their bodies are not yet back on track. Such drivers may not feel drowsy, but their reaction times are slower. The less a driver tends to sleep each night increases the risk of an accident once daylight savings time begins. Those who normally receive eight hours of sleep are not as affected as those who usually receive five or six hours of sleep nightly.
There are ways that you can prevent yourself from becoming impaired. A week before daylight savings time begins, it is best to start going to bed an hour earlier so that your body can adjust to the time change. If you are not a good sleeper, it is time to address the overall risk to your driving habits and health. There is no shortage of over-the-counter and herbal therapies to help people receive a good night’s sleep.
Other advice includes turning off the phone and computer screens an hour before going to bed and refrain from consuming alcohol before bedtime. A glass of wine can help make people sleepy, but often causes them to wake up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep. If problems persist, see a doctor and ask about prescription sleep medication or sleep therapy.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of Drowsy Driving AccidentsIf you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident because of drowsy driving or other negligent circumstances caused by another party, you need the services of the experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or fill out our online form for a free initial consultation. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and serve clients from the surrounding areas.