Medical professionals recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function normally. Many people register on the low end of that range, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three people consistently fall short of the mark.
How Does Daylight Savings Time Affect Driving?
For motorists, lack of sleep translates to decreased alertness, slowed reaction times, and sometimes falling asleep at the wheel, endangering everyone sharing the roadways. Drowsiness can be exacerbated by driving alone, long trips, or monotonous stretches of straight roadway with little change in environment. And the one-hour spring Daylight Savings Time adjustment makes things even worse.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder showed a 17-percent hike in traffic accidents the Monday following the “spring ahead” adjustment. The rate remains higher than normal for the rest of the week, too, as it generally takes the body’s internal clock at least several days to fully adjust.
In addition, the time change means many motorists are now driving in morning darkness. Reduced visibility and high pedestrian-traffic areas are a volatile combination. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 75 percent of pedestrian deaths involving a motor vehicle occur between dusk and dawn. Even if darkness is not an issue, drivers may be greeted in their morning commute by a sun sitting low in the sky, creating serious glare problems.
Spring Daylight Savings Time can make things dicey for drivers and pedestrians. If you find yourself the victim of motorist negligence, contact an auto accident or pedestrian accident attorney to protect your rights.
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