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Daylight savings time leads to more accidents

pedestrianLast weekend, Americans gained an hour of sleep as daylight savings time (DST) ended and the clocks were set back one hour. For most people, the time change means a slight adjustment to our sleep schedules and to the evenings becoming darker earlier. However, the overnight time change can also lead to an increase in car and pedestrian accidents.

Not surprisingly, traffic and pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur in darkness. Loss of daylight means lower visibility, which is especially dangerous for pedestrians. Darkness is also more conducive to drowsy driving, a leading cause of car and trucking accidents.

According to CBS New York, the Monday after clocks are set forward when DST begins in the spring is “one of the deadliest days on the road,” as drivers are more likely to be tired, having “lost” an hour of sleep, or are suddenly making their morning commutes in the dark. However, according to Business Insider, many argue that roads are just as dangerous, if not more so, following the end of DST in the fall, when it suddenly becomes dark during many people’s 5 p.m. commute home from work. Because there are more people on the roads in the evening than in the early morning, this creates even more potential for accidents and collisions. As Lawrence University economist David Gerard tells Time, our brains and bodies have not yet adapted to the environmental change immediately following the end of DST. Drivers are apt to be less careful than necessary and pedestrians are likely to be less attentive.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology also suggests that workplace injuries are more common following a time change.
There are conflicting views about the benefits and drawbacks of DST, and whether the semiannual time change takes a toll on people’s health. However, regardless of the pros and cons, it is clear that DST demands that drivers take a little extra care.

The personal injury attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys encourage all drivers to drive with extra caution and watch for pedestrians, especially in the first days after DST ends, and into the season of shorter days ahead. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash or pedestrian accident, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. Contact us at 855-866-5529.

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