You may not be surprised, but did you know that the number of crashes that take place spike the week after Daylight Savings Time takes place? According to a study, the number of fatal crashes that take place that week spike by around 6%, which leads to approximately 28 deaths yearly.
By analyzing over 700,000 fatal crashes, the University of Colorado Boulder was able to show that the increase in crashes between 1996 and 2017 may be linked to drowsiness from having to wake up an hour earlier than they’re used to.
While that hour might not seem significant, that small change adds up. Some states have been trying to decide if they want to do away with the time change completely, including California, Florida, Washington and Oregon. This is all thanks to research that has shown that the time change increases workplace injuries, crashes, strokes, heart attacks and other problems.
In Illinois, there was legislation asking to permanently operate in Daylight Savings Time. While it was able to pass in the Senate, it did not pass the House. Interestingly, Daylight Savings Time has not always been a part of American culture. It was adopted during World Wars I and II because it helped save energy. Today, it’s a lasting effect of the wars and the Uniform Time Act, which was signed into law in 1966 to create the permanent biannual clock adjustment.
If you need to drive during the week following DST, be cautious. Many people will lose an hour of sleep in the evening and get up an hour earlier in the morning. Drowsiness is a problem on the roads, at work and elsewhere. Stay attentive, so you can help avoid injuries.