Daylight Saving Time Causes Increase in Sleep-Related Car AccidentsMarch 11, 2019
When it is time to spring ahead for daylight saving time, the days get longer. It also means that people lose an hour of precious sleep. While that single hour may not seem like a lot, the disruption in sleep can have a major impact on road safety when you consider the fact that all states, except for Arizona and Hawaii, observe daylight saving time. There are potentially hundreds of millions of Americans on the road driving after a disrupted night of sleep. Research from Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University show that the disrupted sleep from daylight saving time can cause an increase in fatal car accidents.
Researchers examined fatal car accident data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), covering a 21-year period. They found that, on the Monday after the time change, there was a significant increase in car accidents that resulted in fatalities. In fact, the number of fatal accidents increased from an average of 78.2 on a typical Monday to 83.5 on the Monday following daylight saving time. The researchers believe that the spike in accidents is because people are still adjusting to the time change.
Small Sleep Disruptions, Serious Consequences
Even small disruptions in our sleep cycles can impact our ability to focus and concentrate when operating a motor vehicle. The researchers found evidence that the loss of sleep associated with daylight saving time can have serious public health consequences. According to a Johns Hopkins neurologist involved in the study, the researchers were surprised that the one-hour time change had such an impact on people’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, because so many Americans are already not getting the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis, researchers believe that the time change results in a heightened level of stress on the body.
Daylight saving time became a national standard in the 1960s, and it is unlikely that it will be reversed anytime soon, although many believe it is no longer useful. To prevent future car accidents immediately following daylight saving time, it is important to get enough sleep in the days leading up to the time change. That way, the one hour of lost sleep will not have the same impact as it would for someone who is already sleep-deprived. When there are no sleep reserves, the body does not function optimally.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident after the time change, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Drowsy driving is a serious problem, particularly after people lose an hour of sleep. We will determine who is responsible for the accident and ensure that you receive 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 car accident 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.