Daylight Saving Time Linked to Fatal Car Accidents

March 5, 2020

A recent study showed that advancing your clock one hour and losing an hour of sleep increases the risk of a fatal car accident. In the United States, fatal car accidents spike six percent the work week following daylight saving time, resulting in nearly 30 additional deaths every year. With the arrival of daylight saving time on March 8, clocks shift forward by one hour, and drivers lose an hour of sleep. This may contribute to an increase in road accidents.

Research by the University of Colorado Boulder shows that switching to daylight saving time in the spring leads to negative impacts on one’s health and safety. The research comes around the same time that several states are considering doing away with daylight saving time. Research also shows that in the days after the switch, heart attacks, accidents on the job, and strokes increase significantly. Researchers believe that getting rid of daylight saving time completely is in everyone’s best interest.

Researchers took data between 1996 and 2017, which analyzed over 732,000 accidents recorded through the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The results showed that more than 626 fatal accidents could have been avoided by not switching to daylight saving time. Researchers believe that since the report only shows deaths that resulted from car accidents, the true risk to drivers could be even greater. The increase in accidents occurs immediately after the clock changes on Sunday morning, with many accidents happening the morning following the time change.

Western Time Zones

Individuals who live in the western states already receive about 19-minutes less sleep than people on the east coast. The time change takes an additional hour of sleep away from them. However, they are still required to be at work the same time as everyone else. The chances of these drivers being involved in a fatal accident increases because of their tendency to be more sleep deprived.

Experts say that permanent standard time is better for people’s health and well-being, supporting the belief that getting rid of the time change would improve public health. However, they are not sure whether to go with permanent standard time or permanent daylight saving time. To adjust to the time change, researchers suggest going to bed 15 minutes early before your normal bedtime the week prior so that the shift will not be detrimental to your normal routine.

Camden Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Clients Injured in All Types of Car Accidents

Sustaining a personal injury can leave you with many questions and concerns, especially if you are not sure who is liable for causing your injury. If you were injured in a car accident, contact a Camden car accident lawyer at DiTomaso Law. Our experienced lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-414-0010. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.