Springing Forward Can Increase the Risk of Car Accidents

Do you ever find yourself feeling a little drowsy the week following the Daylight Saving time change? It would be no surprise if you do! On Sunday, March 8, we will “spring” forward one hour to accommodate the longer days of spring, but we will also lose a precious hour of sleep. And while the additional daylight is refreshing, this disruption of our sleep schedules can have negative effects on our health and safety.

Just one hour of missed sleep caused by the shifts of daylight saving time (DST) can significantly disrupt our circadian rhythms. This leaves many unsuspecting drivers behind the wheel, much drowsier than recommended. In a 2016 study, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the risk of a car accident doubles when drivers are drowsy, especially in the days following the DST change.

Drowsy Driving is Dangerous Driving

No matter how badly you need to get to your destination, loud music, caffeine and rolling down the window are NOT enough to overcome the distractions caused by mental and physical fatigue. Driving drowsy not only increases your risk of an accident that can harm you, but it also increases the likelihood that you could harm other drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Luckily, there are several ways to overcome the sleepiness that follows DST.

Five Tips to Stay Alert After DST:

  1. Make sure you are fit to drive before getting behind the wheel. If you already feel tired, try to take a nap or find alternate transportation.
  2. Ensure that you have had at least six hours of sleep before driving (seven to eight are ideal).
  3. Avoid driving alone at night, especially if you are tired.
  4. Control light and dark. In the morning, send a message to your body to wake by opening blinds and turning the lights up (but expose yourself to as much natural light as possible). In the evening, do the opposite and avoid all electronics that emit light.
  5. Get outside and exercise. This will make you feel good physically and help you fall asleep easier. Additionally, that extra sunshine will increase your vitamin D levels – good for your body in many ways.

As we prepare for the upcoming time change, all of us at Hupy and Abraham hope that you and your family experience a safe transition. As daylight hours change, help spread awareness about pedestrian safety and remind others to “Watch for Pedestrians” with a FREE bumper sticker available here!

If you’ve been in an accident with someone you suspect was driving while tired, it is important to understand that driving while tired is a form of negligence. It can be very difficult to prove that another driver was too tired to drive after an accident occurred. But, an experienced car accident lawyer like those at Hupy and Abraham know how to establish if the other driver was at fault.

That is why it is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident to protect your potential recovery. For more information, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com.

Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham