DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME AND THE IMPACT ON ROAD SAFETY
Daylight saving time ended again on Sunday, November 3rd and, for just one day, we all got that lovely one extra hour of sleep that we all hope for. But what impact does daylight saving time have for us immediately following the change to those clocks?
Studies show that daylight saving time does, in fact, have an impact on us, beyond just that one day when the clock either moves forward or ahead (spring ahead, fall back). There is a particular significance to the change in time brought on by daylight saving time and, when those clocks turn back one hour, drivers are now, for the most part, heading home in the dark during rush hour, while conversely, when the clocks move forward in the spring, drivers might start their day with darker morning commutes. Besides the fact that the change in time could have certain impacts on a person’s health, the change can also have an impact on the number of motor vehicle accidents immediately following daylight saving time.
Having a relatively long commute myself, I often notice that traffic backups seem to increase even more immediately after such time changes go into effect, both in the spring and in the fall. Studies have shown that there is an increased number of motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian injuries that occur following daylight saving time, as the number of motor vehicle crashes tend to increase right around the vicinity of daylight saving time [Read More]. It might take a while to adjust to the time change as people are suddenly driving home in the dark after a long day of work in the fall, or perhaps adjusting to the loss of an hour of sleep and/or to darker morning commutes in the spring. Therefore, it’s important to remain vigilant out on the roadways, whether as an operator of a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian, and to be prepared for any drivers who may not have yet adjusted to the time change, whether due to the fact that they may be more sleepy and/or have not yet adjusted to driving under different conditions. “Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver.” [Read More]. If you are the operator of a motor vehicle, you want to watch out for anyone else who may be experiencing difficulty adjusting to the increased darkness and/or the time change and, as a pedestrian, you want to make sure that you always make yourself as visible as possible to operators of motor vehicles, especially in the dark.
Just some food for thought as you head out after this latest time change goes into effect. Try and stay safe out there on those roadways. If you are one of the unfortunate ones that becomes involved in an accident, then you should consult with an attorney experienced in personal injury law as soon as reasonably possible to determine whether compensation might be available and/or what your rights might be.