End of Daylight Saving Time May Be Cause of Concern for Drowsy Driving

End of Daylight Saving Time May Be Cause of Concern for Drowsy Driving

This Sunday marks the ending of Daylight Saving Time, where we turn back the clocks and gain an extra hour of sleep. But while there may appear to be benefits of “falling backward,” this adjustment can be difficult for many, especially as it gets darker outside even earlier in the day.

How Does The Time Change Impact Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 94 percent of all car crashes are caused by human error. In fact, the majority of these crashes are caused by totally preventable human behavior. In approximately 21 percent of crashes, a driver was drowsy and 29 percent of people admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open over the last month while driving.

While many may assume that an additional hour of sleep would have people more refreshed and alert while driving, various studies claim that this may not be the case. While losing an hour of sleep in the spring can cause people to feel drowsier and less attentive while driving, various studies have shown that the same may be true when we gain an hour in the fall.

In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia, there is generally an increase in the average number of collisions that occur during the late afternoon commute throughout the two weeks following the change in time.

Since darkness signals to our brain to sleep, this can be especially true until your body adjusts.  While we have gotten used to longer, brighter days during the spring and summer, the change in brightness during the times we spend commuting to and from work, and increasingly worse weather conditions may create additional hazards.

So What Can You Do to Stay Safe? 

Although the change in time has the ability to negatively impact our driving, experts suggest that taking certain proactive measures throughout the adjustment period can make a big difference. Here are some tips to follow for reducing accidents after you change your clocks:

  • Maintain your regular sleep schedule
  • Ensure that your headlights, brake lights, and signal lights are always clean
  • Leave early enough to get where you need to go so that you don’t have to rush
  • Approach all intersections and crosswalks cautiously – it can be more difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists
  • Always follow the speed limit, but adjust your speed should weather conditions warrant it
  • Always maintain a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you – especially in inclement weather
  • Maintain your car for the change in season (oil changes, winter tires, replace wiper blades,  make sure to have enough windshield wiper fluid, etc.)

The Goss Law Firm, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto vehicle accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, The Goss Law Firm can help. To learn more or to schedule a FREE consultation, call the Kansas City Lawyers at the Goss Law Firm at 816-527-8658 today!