Whether it is time to fall back or spring ahead, daylight savings happens twice a year in 48 states. While the concept of daylight savings was to conserve energy and take advantage of the longer days during the warmer months, the time shift, however slight, may be responsible for an increase in car accidents, pedestrian injuries, and other health-related issues. The spring forward period is particularly dangerous due to the hour of sleep that people lose, although the hour gained during the fall back period also has negative effects because the sleep cycle has been altered.
According to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder, findings show an increase in traffic accident fatalities on the Monday after the time change. The study examined the daylight savings period from March to November for 10 years. Experts say that this is largely because it gets dark earlier, which affects visibility. However, most accidents happen because people are extremely drowsy while driving.
Researchers found that in the spring, losing one hour of sleep can be particularly concerning for people who already obtain little sleep each night. For example, someone who obtains only four to five hours of sleep each night is much more likely to cause a car accident if they lose an hour of sleep. While people who obtain eight or more hours of sleep each night are the least likely to cause a wreck, disrupted sleep cycles can have a negative effect on all drivers.
How to Stay Safe During Daylight Savings
Over the years, certain states have opted out of daylight savings, while others have considered it. If it remains a national standard that happens every November and March, there is not a lot that can be done to combat these effects. However, experts suggest one simple step that can help avoid accidents that are related to drowsy driving. As the time change approaches, be proactive and go to bed earlier to prepare for the lost hour of sleep and the disruption to your sleep cycle. If you feel drowsy, avoid driving if possible. If you are driving and you become tired, pull over to a safe, well-lit spot and rest. During the days following daylight savings, pay attention to large trucks in case the truck driver did not have adequate time to adjust to the time change and is driving the truck on too little sleep. Truck accidents caused by drowsy driving can be extremely devastating.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and you believe the other driver involved may have been drowsy at the time of the wreck, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are on your side and will provide you with the skilled and dedicated legal counsel you are entitled to receive. Our experienced team will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent injured victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.