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Switch to Daylight Savings Time Increases Drowsy Driving Risks

Posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

With the recent switch to daylight savings time, many people may find themselves struggling to get back on a regular schedule. While we only ‘spring forward’ one hour, studies show the change can have a significant impact on your health. Any disruption in sleep can be dangerous, increasing the likelihood of car accidents. At Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C., we want you to be aware of the potential dangers and how you can reduce your risks.  

Controversy Over Daylight Savings Time

Losing one hour of sleep may not seem like a big deal, but researchers claim it alters your circadian rhythms. According to a March 4, 2019, Health report, this can impact your health in numerous ways, negatively affecting your heart, brain, and even your reproductive system. Heart attacks, strokes, mental health issues, and even miscarriages are more common in the aftermath of daylight savings time. People become more accident prone, as well, making car crashes more likely to happen.

Considering the risks associated with time changes, several states have made the move to eliminate them entirely. Illinois National Public Radio (NPR) reports that state representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) sponsored legislation in the past to eliminate ‘falling back’ an hour on the first Sunday in November, essentially making it daylight savings time all year. While the bill failed at the time, in 2019 it is getting more support. Even President Trump recently posted a tweet saying he had no objection the practice.

Drowsy Driving Risks

The effects of losing an hour of sleep during daylight savings time can linger for weeks afterward. Unfortunately, this puts drivers, their passengers, and other motorists on the road at risk for drowsy driving-related car accidents. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being excessively tired behind the wheel is one of the leading causes of crashes and collisions. Similar to drunk driving, drowsy driving can cause the following:

  • Blurred vision, watery eyes, and sensitivity to headlight glare;
  • Decreased reaction times to unexpected events, such as sudden changes in traffic conditions;
  • Difficulty staying within your lane;
  • Greater likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel.

To minimize these effects while you adjust to daylight savings time, Health recommends going to bed a little earlier each night, setting your alarm so as not to sleep in, avoiding cell phones, laptops, and other electronics before bed, and decreasing your caffeine consumption.

Contact Our Will County Car Accident Attorney

When car accidents leave you suffering serious personal injuries, Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C., are here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Reach out and contact our Will County car accident attorney to request a consultation today.

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