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Car Crash Deaths Spike After Daylight Saving Time

March 13, 2020

USA- A new study indicates that the number of fatal car crashes increases by approximately 6 percent in the week following daylight saving time (DST), according to HEALTHLINE.COM. The likely cause of the spike in deadly wrecks is the sleep deprivation caused by the changing of the time. People are hit with fatigue and are driving with symptoms that are similar to jet lag.*

Drowsy driving is hazardous. By some measures, driving while drowsy matches drunk driving in terms of risks. Like driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while drowsy can lead to delayed reactions, loss of focus, and difficulty in noticing potential hazards on the road. Experts recommend taking time to adjust sleep patterns in the days leading up to the changing of the clocks and after. 

Several states are considering an end to the practice of DST. Studies show that there are a number of negative impacts from switching the clocks beyond car crashes. Workplace injuries increase, and there is a rise in heart attacks and strokes. Florida and Alabama are among the states looking at potentially ending the practice. 

When it comes to car accidents, about 28 deaths are linked to DST related wrecks each year. One study looked at the trend from 1996 through 2017 and found that the increase in tragic fatalities lined up to the clock changing. In fact, in 2007, spring back was switched from April to March, and the rise in crashes followed.

The study only reviewed the worst crashes, but it is suspected that smaller collisions are more common in the week, or even two weeks following DST. There is still some debate as to whether it would be better to switch to permanent standard time or permanent DST.

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.