Springtime Driving Can Be Hazardous to Your Health. Daylight Savings Time is One Reason Why

Fatigued and distracted drivers are potentially dangerous. That point is driven home by the number of Spring accidents that occur after daylight savings time when our clocks “spring forward” so we can enjoy more daylight later in the day.

Orange County car accident attorney Aaron Hicks helps his clients cope with the aftermath of serious vehicle accidents. That can include severe physical injuries, emotional harm, medical bills, totaled vehicles, and lost income. Aaron can be part of the team of professionals who can help put your life back together.

Call our team of car accident attorneys in Orange County at (949) 541-9944 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation concerning your auto accident with Mr. Hicks directly today.

What is Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight saving time is moving clocks ahead by one hour during spring so daylight lasts longer into the evening.

Why Should That Make Drivers More Dangerous?

Research shows more morning light and less evening light are better for sleep and overall health, according to the University of Colorado. A tired driver is more easily distracted, may doze off behind the wheel, and is slower to respond to emergencies. With the time change, people suddenly get less sleep and drive in darker conditions earlier in the day.

How Big of a Threat is Daylight Savings Time?

Fatal car accidents in the US increased by 6% in the workweek after the “spring forward” to daylight saving time, causing about 28 additional deaths annually from 1996 to 2017, according to University of Colorado research published in 2020.

A study from the journal Current Biology found that the farther west you live in your zone, the greater the risk of a fatal crash that week. This is because people living in that area get the least sleep. Most of the increase in deadly accidents happens in the morning.

Researchers analyzed 732,835 accidents recorded throughout the country (except Indiana and Arizona, which don’t observe daylight savings time). They state that 627 traffic deaths were related to time change-related fatigue.

They factored in the season and day of the week and discovered a consistent increase in fatal accidents the week after clocks were moved ahead. In 2007, the time change moved from April to March, and the accident fatalities increased. The records they used only covered severe accidents, so the overall impact on vehicle accidents could be much greater.

Daylight Savings Time Could Make Work More Dangerous

The University of Colorado’s research findings are consistent with other studies examining fatigue-related mistakes after daylight savings. Two Michigan State organizational behavior doctoral students conducted research based on 24 years (1983 to 2006) of injury reports from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, according to EHS Today.

On average, 3.6 more injuries occurred on the Monday after the change to daylight saving time than on other days, and 2,649 days of work were lost due to those injuries. That’s about a 68% increase in lost workdays compared to the average. Workers of all experience levels were affected similarly.

Researchers confirmed that people sleep less after clocks change to a later hour. They considered the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey data, which measures the time Americans spend engaged in different activities, including sleep. Information from 14,310 interviews from 2004 to 2006 showed that on Sunday nights after the daylight saving time switch, people slept an average of 40 minutes less.

There were no significant changes in the frequency or severity of workplace injuries on Mondays after standard time starts in the autumn when people gain an hour. Researchers found people generally don’t lose or gain sleep when standard time returns.

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer Aaron Hicks Represents People Like You

The experienced team of Orange County car accident lawyers at Hicks Law Firm will answer your questions and address your concerns about seeking compensation for injuries you suffered in a car accident. Profits are insurance companies’ priority, not fairness. Pursuing their claims process without legal help can result in a settlement that’s far less than your case is worth. After you sign their release, you can’t ask for more.

Our firm helps clients with vehicle accident injury claims throughout Orange County, including Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Southern California.

Call the Hicks Law Firm at (949) 541-9944 or fill out a contact form today so we can schedule a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your accident, your injuries, how California law may apply, and the next steps you should take.