Spring DST behind an annual rise in fatal car crashes

| Mar 12, 2020 | Personal injury

Many auto accidents in Hartford arise because one of the drivers was drowsy. Perhaps you were injured by a drowsy driver, too. If it happened shortly after the switch to daylight saving time in March, then you should know that the time change may have contributed somewhat to the crash.

DST has long been known for its negative nationwide impact on health and safety. Some studies show how the first week of DST sees an increase in heart attacks, strokes and workplace injuries. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder has found an increase in fatal car crashes.

Why the “spring forward” is so dangerous

After analyzing crash data from 1996 to 2017, researchers noticed that this increase came consistently after the start of DST even when the date of the switch was changed from April to March in 2007. It was determined to be a 6% increase: In other words, every year there are approximately 28 fatal crashes related to DST.

Living at the westernmost edge of a time zone brings with it an even greater danger. Residents in these areas tend to be sleep-deprived already, and they see 8% more fatal crashes than those living farther east in a time zone.

Drowsy driving is like drunk driving

Losing an hour of sleep may not sound like much, but it affects millions of people across the country, and drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsiness can cause drivers to become inattentive to the road and slow, perhaps fatally so, in reacting to dangers.

Getting compensation after a drowsy driving-related accident

The study focused only on fatal car crashes, so you can guess that the problem is more widespread. Many crashes result in injuries instead of fatalities, but injuries can still be debilitating and lead to mounting expenses. If you schedule a legal evaluation with a personal injury lawyer, you may find out whether you are eligible to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages and other losses.