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Five Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Increases Car Accidents

Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins on March 8, 2020. The annual day to “spring forward” means that people in Kansas and Missouri will get to enjoy an extra hour of sunlight. What many people don’t know is that the week of the DST change can be a dangerous one, with an increased chance of car accidents and heart attacks.

Everyone at Patterson Legal Group hopes that you and your family avoid daylight saving time accidents. One of the best ways to do that is to understand the risks and be prepared. With that in mind, our team presents five reasons why DST increases car accidents.

1) Losing Sleep Can Lead to Drowsy and Fatigued Driving

Getting an extra hour of sunlight comes at the expense of one hour of sleep. While that’s a nominal amount in the long term, it can be deadly in the short term. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that one out of three people do not get enough sleep. When you take away an additional hour, that compounds the problem.

Springing forward also disrupts circadian rhythm and causes many people to feel tired in the days following the DST change. A lack of sleep leads to drowsy and fatigued motorists. That means more car, motorcycle, and truck drivers with suboptimal reflexes, perception, and reaction time. With so many drowsy and fatigued drivers on the road, it’s no wonder that daylight saving time accidents are so common.

2) DST Change Can Lead to Distracted Driving

In addition to drowsiness and fatigue, losing one hour of sleep makes it more difficult for drivers to focus. Distracted driving accidents have been on the rise in America; playing games or using social media apps on a mobile phone, eating or drinking, or simply spacing out can lead to severe distracted driving accidents. With thousands of drivers in Kansas and Missouri lacking sleep, the potential for a distracted driving accident during the week of the DST change is higher than normal.

3) DST Can Exacerbate Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of Americans. Losing one hour of sleep can intensify feelings of depression. Depressed drivers may suffer anxiety or panic attacks on the road, which can be deadly in heavy traffic.

Some depressed drivers may be unable to focus sufficiently, while others may take unnecessary risks or engage in reckless driving. Any one of those behaviors can lead to catastrophic daylight saving time accidents.

4) Losing Sleep Can Make Teenage Drivers Worse

There are many young people that are fine drivers, but there are also many that are not. In both cases, they’re inexperienced compared to older drivers and may not know how to cope with losing an hour of sleep.

Many younger people may be unaware that they’re more susceptible to the DST change. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine claims that high-school students experience “a decline in vigilance and cognitive function” during the week of the DST change. If they’re driving to school and not adequately focused on the road, the results can be calamitous daylight saving time accidents.

5) Instances of Heart Attacks and Strokes Increase with DST

Two of the gravest consequences of the DST time change are heart attack and stroke. Losing one hour of sleep can lead to increased blood pressure and stress, which can be deadly to those with heart disease.

A study by BMJ Journals reported a 24% increase in heart attacks on the Monday after the time change. If a driver experiences a heart attack or stroke while driving and loses control of their vehicle, it can lead to a severe car, motorcycle, or truck accident.

Contact us Today!

Everyone at Patterson Legal Group hopes that you and your family do everything possible to smoothly adjust to DST. First, make sure that you get enough sleep. Next, don’t consume caffeinated beverages too late. Also, get some sunlight as early as possible so your body and mind know that it’s time to be alert. In short, be mindful of the change and adjust accordingly so that you can avoid a daylight saving time accident.

If you or a loved one get hurt in an accident during the week of the DST change, contact Patterson Legal Group immediately. Our team of skilled and compassionate attorneys will handle all of your legal needs and help you find the best medical attention.

We know how to work with and against insurance companies in order to win you the highest possible compensation. We will fight hard for you so that you can focus on your health and well being. Contact us today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Tyler Patterson

About Tyler Patterson:

Tyler Patterson is a trial attorney with Patterson Legal Group, L.C., representing accident victims and their families. Tyler has developed an extensive network in the Kansas legal community. Patterson is a graduate... Read More »

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