Many Ohio residents look forward to the advent of Daylight Saving Time. Not only does the change mean that spring weather is on the way, people look forward to later evenings of sunlight after leaving work or school. However, some warn that the switch in the clocks is associated with a greater risk of severe or even fatal car crashes. By turning the clock ahead one hour, people may also lose out on an hour of sleep. While the time change is scheduled for a weekend in an attempt to affect the smallest number of people, there are many people who still keep to a strict schedule on Sunday morning.
Researchers analyzed 733,000 car crashes linked to fatalities that took place between 1996 and 2017 in states that switch their clocks to Daylight Saving Time. In the week after the time change, fatal accidents appeared to rise by 6%, especially in the morning hours. They said that up to 28 deaths in traffic accidents could be caused by the disruption associated with the time change. Anything that interferes with sleep can also have a devastating effect. Drowsy driving has been compared to drunk driving in terms of the level of impairment that it can create.
Some advocate for permanent Daylight Saving Time, cutting out the time change. There are other ways that people can help to protect themselves from potential negative effects, including making sure to make up that extra hour of sleep.
Drowsy driving poses a serious threat of dangerous car accidents, even if there is no time change on the horizon. People injured in a crash due to someone else’s negligent driving may consult with a lawyer about how they can seek compensation for their damages.