When the time changes in the spring and fall, people start to debate about whether is old practice is necessary. The time change in the spring brings with it longer days and signs that summer is fast approaching, but it can come with some risks, too. Statistics indicate that fatal car accidents spike in the days following daylight savings.
As the clocks jump ahead one hour, people lose an hour of sleep. This can make someone feel sleepy the next day, but in reality, it’s possible this will affect a New York driver for more than just one morning. Disruptions in sleep patterns can lead to drowsy driving, and drowsy driving can lead to a significantly higher chance of car accidents.
A problem in the spring
The danger behind the spring time change is more than just tired drivers being on the road. It impacts people on a level that many underestimate, and people are often unaware of how being groggy behind the wheel can be a danger to themselves and others. The number of accidents that result in the death of a motorist increase by six percent the week following the daylight savings time change.
During this week, there is a higher chance of an accident in the mornings. This is probably because people are more tired in the hours after they wake up. It can take hours for them to shake this grogginess and feel more alert. Interestingly, researchers do not find that this increase in accidents occurs after the fall time change.
Tired drivers and a higher chance for accidents
Experts believe that losing an hour of sleep can have detrimental consequences of a person’s sleep patterns. Getting less sleep for a night may not seem like a big deal, but it can feel like more than just one hour, and it can take a while for the body to adjust to the new cycle. Tired drivers are more likely to do the following:
- Fall asleep at the wheel
- Drive long distances without remembering what happened on the road
- Swerve off the road
- Fail to react to a hazard
Ultimately, fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk or distracted drivers, and during the week after the time change, there are more of them on the road. Regardless of why a person is driving while fatigued, each driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes that could negatively impact others. If you are the victim of an accident caused by a tired driver, you could have grounds for a civil claim.