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After Accidents

Why this is of the most dangerous times to be on the road

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Auto Accidents

As we “spring forward” this month with the start of daylight saving time (DST), it’s important to remember that these one-hour changes twice a year affect some people more than others. While you may think it’s silly than losing an hour throws some people off for days or even weeks, it can.

Even if you just change a couple of clocks and go about your business, one place where most everyone feels the change is in their daily commute. You may be suddenly driving to work in the dark or into the sunrise and coming home while facing blinding sunlight. Either can be dangerous as you adjust to your new driving conditions.

One study conducted over two decades found that in the days following the start of DST in the U.S., the risk of being in a fatal crash increased by 6%. The most dangerous time on the road was determined to be the morning. If you couple the risks caused by drivers adjusting to different light conditions with the fact that some people do have sleep problems for awhile after the time change, you’ve got a recipe for more collisions.

The risks of more drowsy drivers on the road

Drowsy driving is already a serious problem. When sleep-deprived drivers are commuting to work or school while it’s still dark out, they’re even more likely to doze off at the wheel or become distracted. People who need to take that extra cup of coffee have one more distraction to deal with – especially if it spills.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that as many as a fifth of all fatal crashes may be caused by drowsy drivers. Pedestrians and bicyclists are often victims of these fatal crashes. They can face significant risks after the start of DST, whether from being harder to see while it’s still dark in the morning, especially by a drowsy or distracted driver, or from being out later in the day with the extended daylight.

It’s crucial for everyone on and near the road to be especially careful this time of year. Remember that the start of DST is no excuse for negligent or reckless driving. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by another driver, it’s smart not to accept any settlement until you’ve sought legal guidance to protect your rights.