If you already dread moving your clocks ahead an hour every spring, there is another reason to dislike Daylight Savings Time: the increase in car accidents. Reports show a jump in the number of fatal car accidents in the days following the shift to Daylight Savings Time. Although it is only one hour, the shift makes a significant difference in the number of fatal collisions.
One hour lost can double the risk of a crash
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the darker morning hours that come with the time change are not the only obstacle to overcome after switching the clocks to Daylight Savings Time. Moving the clocks ahead one hour can have a significant impact on sleep patterns and cause motorists to feel drowsy. Missing one to two hours of the recommended seven to eight hours of nightly sleep doubles the risk of a crash. In fact, a study conducted by the AAA in 2018 reports that drowsy driving is linked to approximately 10 percent of traffic accidents.
Driving safety tips for dealing with Daylight Savings Time
In addition to drowsiness, drivers face a change in sun glare in the morning with the switch to Daylight Savings Time. The American Automobile Association provides several safety tips for drivers dealing with the change to Daylight Savings Time, including the following:
- Only drive when you feel rested: the shift in the clock can cause marked drowsiness. Only drive when you feel rested and, if you start to feel drowsy while you are driving, immediately pull off the road and rest. If need be, call a friend or family member for assistance.
- Prepare for the glare: morning or early evening sun glare can cause temporary blindness. Prepare for the glare by wearing sunglasses and adjusting the sun visors accordingly. Adjust the rear view mirror to the night setting to reduce the glare from headlights from a car behind you.
- Be mindful of your headlights: check you are using the appropriate headlights for the circumstances. When you are following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so the car in front of you is not blinded by the glare. And be sure that you switch off the high beams when another car is approaching.
- Slow down: when driving in the morning darkness, it is harder to judge the speed of other cars. Sun glare can make it difficult to see the car ahead of you. So slow down and increase your following distance.
When you have been injured in a NJ car accident, you may recover compensation for your injuries
Car accidents may result in injuries, fatalities, lost income, and other damages. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you may recover compensation for your losses. Personal injury law protects those who have been injured in accidents due to another person’s negligent actions. The car accident attorneys at the Leonard Legal Group are experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled at navigating the complexities of personal injury law to recover just compensation for accident victims. Contact a member of our team at 973-984-1414 or online to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your case.