Would doing away with Daylight Saving Time all together leave drivers and pedestrians safer?

You may have heard that some cities, states and even countries have been tossing around the idea of giving up on daylight saving time (DST) altogether. Remembering to change our clocks may be inconvenient, but that’s not the reason some people are hoping to do away with the practice. It’s become common knowledge that the side effects we suffer as a result of moving time forward or back one hour, twice a year, put our health and safety at risk. This simple fact is enough to get people wondering; will doing away with daylight saving time make us safer?

Those dark afternoons and evenings, combined with the sleep disruption caused by “springing forward” in the March return to DST, cause a number of negative effects. These usually include drowsy drivers who are more likely to be in car accidents, an increase in health issues like heart attacks, and even wasted electricity.

Daylight Saving Time and Halloween

The time change has also been known to increase the risk of pedestrian accidents during Halloween. Prior to 2006, DST would occur a few days before Halloween, forcing trick-or-treaters to spend the evening mostly in darkness. But in 2007, DST was changed when studies revealed that children pedestrian deaths were four times higher on Halloween than on any other holiday. While this is mostly due to children’s increased presence on the streets, the lack of light and poor visibility is also a factor.

Though ultimately, society has committed to these twice a year time changes. And, they aren’t likely to go away any time soon -- so cherish that extra hour of sleep. In the meantime, it’s important for drivers and pedestrians alike to be prepared to compensate for any safety issues that may arise when the time changes.

Tips for Daylight Saving Time

  1. Get enough sleep: It's hard to know whether a driver was drowsy at the time of a crash. But, it's estimated that nearly 6,000 fatal crashes occur each year because of tired drivers.
  2. Stay alert: The combination of potentially drowsy drivers and dusk falling during the general commute hours often correlates with an increase in traffic and pedestrian accidents.
  3. Prepare for night driving: Keep headlights and signal lights clean and aligned, and wash the windshield and replace wipers regularly.
  4. Update other safety necessities: Many people use the fall DST as an opportunity to prepare for the winter months. Use DST as a reminder to check and replace batteries in fire/smoke alarms, update home security systems, construct emergency car kits and perform maintenance on vehicles to get them ready for frequent night driving and coming winter weather.

As DST approaches, we hope that you and your family experience a safe transition. If you would like to help spread awareness about pedestrian safety, you can get a FREE Watch for Pedestrians bumper sticker here, just in time for DST!

If you or a loved one experiences an accident during daylight saving time due to a negligent driver’s actions, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham for a free consultation at 800-800-5678, or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.

Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham