Daylight savings means extra time to sleep in every fall, and that’s great news. But it also means extended work hours at the wheel. This time shift may not be a pleasant one if it ends up costing you your life. So here’s how to avoid auto accidents caused by daylight savings.
The Scientific Explanation Behind Daylight Savings and Accidents
When daylight savings occurs and winter draws near, we lose an hour of sunlight every afternoon. And with the dimming of the day comes many risks, especially on the road. Poor visibility contributes to accidents because your body is still adjusting to the new daylight hours,
A study by Austin C. Smith conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder, showed that 302 deaths over a decade were recorded in those crucial first days of daylight savings. This is highly likely due to the fact that those drivers were experiencing a change in their sleep cycles, and the bodily disruption was causing them to err at the wheel.
If you only sleep about six or seven hours a night, you are twice as much at risk for auto accidents than people who get the full recommended eight hours of sleep. That’s according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. During extensive research, the organization found at least 250,000 drivers who accidentally dozed off during daylight savings.
The National Sleep Foundation says that up to 71 percent of adults in America who must drive to work and back get drowsy while driving.
Peak Times of Traffic Accidents
If you’ve ever wondered when exactly the most traffic accidents occur, the findings point to the daylight savings switch-over hours.
The three different time slots most likely to have car crashes and accidents in the United States are as follows: 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m., and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
If you drive at these times, remember that there are others on the road who may still be adjusting to daylight savings time.
Top Tips for Safer Driving
To prevent distracted driving, always make time for breaks, and pull over if you feel yourself nodding off during those crucial hours. You may just save a life — or many lives. Do some blood circulation exercises with your ankles, neck and back to wake your body up and drive better.
And finally, try to get enough sleep every night. The recommended eight hours is optimal, but if you don’t have that many hours, make up for it on the weekends or during your day off, giving your body the rest it deserves.
If you’ve been in a car accident, hiring an attorney will allow you to deal with all the other matters in life without having to worry about compromising your legal claim. Call the Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley for advice about your auto accident claim today.