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Daylight Savings Time Car Accidents: What You Need To Know

March 10, 2022 by Steven M. Gursten

The best way to protect yourself and your family from daylight savings time car accidents is to get enough sleep. Research shows that fatal car crashes increase 6% after daylight savings time kicks in. This is because when we lose 1 to 2 hours of our normal sleep, we are more likely to cause an auto accident.

I know we are all looking forward to days with more sunshine to enjoy after work, but it is important that we ease into this new routine. Getting to bed a little earlier and making sure we are plenty rested when we hit the roads for the morning commute in the first few days after our “spring forward” will help to ensure the safety of ourselves, our families and our fellow travelers with whom we share the roads.

When is daylight savings time in 2022 ?

Daylight savings time starts starts at 2:00 am on March 13, 2022. At that time, people must turn their clocks forward to 3:00 am. Also referred to as “Springing Forward,” the time change results in people generally losing the equivalent of an hour of sleep.

What is the relationship between the time change and automobile crashes?

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have determined that the relationship between daylight savings time and car accidents results in a 6% increase in fatal car crashes in the U.S., due the 1-hour “spring forward” that causes people to lose an hour of sleep.

Significantly, the researchers concluded the following about how the increased fatal-crash risk due to the spring daylight-savings-time transition “is highest in the morning”:

“[T]he circadian misalignment and sleep deprivation associated with DST might play a key role in the acutely increased MVA risk in the DST week. In general, accidents are most likely to occur in the morning hours (between 6am and 8am), which has also been attributed to higher levels of driver sleepiness in the first half of the day than in the latter half of the day during any week of the year. This phenomenon appears to be acutely aggravated by DST transition.”

Does drowsy driving play a role after the time change occurs?

Drowsy driving is a significant contributing factor to car accidents resulting from the transition to daylight savings time. The AAA Foundation for Traffic reports that “[d]rivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash.”

Drivers who miss 2-3 hours of their normal sleep are 3 times more likely to cause a car crash, according to the AAA-FTS.

Does daylight savings time cause car accidents?

Fatal car accidents in the U.S. increase 6% as a result of daylight savings time in the spring. Most of these DST-related crashes occur in the morning, which researchers attribute to driver drowsiness brought on by a loss of sleep. Missing between 1-2 hours of normal sleep nearly doubles one’s crash risk.

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by daylight savings time? Call Michigan Auto Law for a free consultation

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by daylight savings time and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 968-1001  for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. You can also get help by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

(Source: “A Chronobiological Evaluation of the Acute Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Traffic Accident Risk,” Current Biology, reported February 24, 2020; “Missing 1-2 Hours of Sleep Doubles Crash Risk – AAA Foundation study reveals the dangers of getting less than seven hours of sleep,” Traffic Safety, Press Release 12/6/2016; “Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement,” AAA-Foundation for Traffic Safety, December 2016)

Daylight Savings Time Car Accidents: What You Need To Know Daylight Savings Time Car Accidents: What You Need To Know Daylight Savings Time Car Accidents: What You Need To Know

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