Missourians and people across the U.S. accept that daylight savings time is a part of life. It signifies the changing of the seasons and, in the winter, it technically gives people an “extra” hour of sleep due to them having grown accustomed to the previous time change in the spring when they “lost” an hour to get an extra hour of daylight. While the arguments as to its benefits and drawbacks can go on endlessly, there are certain statistics that should be of concern to everyone on the road. The change can result in drowsy drivers and the accompanying dangers.
With the changes, experts and researchers urge caution. A doctor who specializes in sleep issues says that the change could negatively impact people, at least in the short term. Because people get into habits and the body gets used to them, any change can cause problems. Although the change in the fall (clocks brought back an hour) differs from the spring (clocks moved forward) and is believed to be easier to adapt to, that is not true for everyone.
A spokesperson for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that people are prone to driving while drowsy through no overt fault of their own simply because of the time change. Statistically, around 20 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a drowsy driver. Those who are not even in a vehicle must be cautious. Pedestrians and bicyclists might face risks because it gets dark earlier. Wearing reflective clothing and being predictable are sound pieces of advice, but the danger lingers.
Steps to avoid drowsy driving and other hazards stemming from the time change include going to sleep earlier, maintain proper hydration and making sure to get enough sun. It can take several days to fully adapt to the time change, but that is enough for there to be a slew of accidents because drivers were drowsy or other issues came about because of the simple act of moving the clocks.
Those who have been in a car crash should be aware of the potential causes of the incident. While a drunk driver, a distracted driver, a reckless or negligent driver and other people who engage in irresponsible behaviors are common causes of motor vehicle accidents, a car accident victim should think about the possibility that it was due to a drowsy driver. The medical expenses, lost wages and even the loss of a loved one are all issues that must be navigated in the aftermath of a crash. A law firm experienced with all aspects of motor vehicle accidents can help with a legal filing for compensation.