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How does daylight savings time affect drivers?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Did you know that in the week following daylight savings time fatalities as a result of car accidents increase by more than six percent? In fact, professional drivers, including those who drive tractor-trailers or busses, have a significantly higher (40%) risk of accidents after a daylight savings time change.

Not only does daylight savings impact your health, but it has other impacts on your life. Therefore, you should understand how daylight savings time affects drivers.

Less sleep

When you move the clock forward, you lose one hour of sleep. In addition, you may find it difficult to shift your sleep schedule after a time change. This results in loss of sleep, causing drowsiness. According to the CDC, drowsiness is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol because it slows your reaction time and mutes your reflexes. In fact, the NHTSA found that 91,000 accidents involved drowsy drivers.

Increase dark driving

Driving in the dark is much more dangerous than in the light. In fact, according to the NHTSA, three times the number of fatalities occur at night. The start of daylight savings time may result in you driving to work in the dark while its end may have you driving home in the dark. This change can impact your safety due to lowered visibility and your driving patterns.

Not enough time to adapt

It can take days or weeks to adapt to a new schedule, and even one hour difference can have a significant impact on your life. However, daylight savings occurs early Sunday morning, and most drivers have to adapt to this change by the next day.

To prevent accidents, you should prepare yourself and your vehicle for daylight savings time changes. Get extra sleep and drive defensively.