Daylight Savings changes the clock twice a year, and we often don’t think much about it. Many people focus on the amount of sleep they will either gain or lose, but not many people consider the danger that the time change can cause on the roads. New studies show that fatal car crashes increase by 6 percent the week following daylight saving time.
The time change affects many individual’s sleep schedules, and the week following Daylight Saving Time sees an increase in drowsy drivers. These drowsy drivers are less able to react quickly to dangerous hazards on the road, and often use less caution when changing lanes or turning which can put other drivers at risk as well. In some cases, driving while tired and drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. This puts not only the tired driver at risk, but everyone around them at risk as well.
This increase in drowsy drivers on the road can also cause an increase in pedestrian accidents and other traffic related accidents. In order to prevent these accidents from happening due to the change in time, individuals should be more cautious on the roads. Being aware that other drivers may be less quick to respond to dangerous situations can help protect you from their lack of responsive driving behaviors.
Keep a safe distance from other cars, and use your mirrors extra cautiously to check who is driving around you. It’s also important to be cautious when walking on sidewalks, and stay as far away from the road as possible.
When crossing the street, check both ways and always assume that the cars can’t see you so that you cross with more caution. Also remember that the time change can affect the amount of sunlight during the morning and night hours, especially in the fall.
Be prepared to drive in darker conditions, and remember to be extra cautious as driving in the dark can cause a decrease in visibility and increased potential for accidents. Staying cautious can help to keep you safe from other tired drivers and prevent more accidents the week after Daylight Savings Time.
To help prevent yourself from feeling drowsy and risking driving unsafely after the change in time, here are some ways you can help yourself adjust to daylight savings:
Keep to your normal schedule
If you’re able to, wake up at the same time as usual even if the clock says otherwise. If you don’t have anything scheduled for that Sunday morning, waking up at the same time as usual can help prevent you from feeling drowsy or out of sorts.
In the days after the time change, don’t take long naps
Taking long naps may be needed when you start to feel tired, but napping out of schedule can damage your sleep at night. It’s best to let your body naturally wake and go to sleep with the sun in order to prevent drowsiness.
Don’t lose your nighttime and morning routines
Plan accordingly so that your routines stay the same. Sticking with your normal routines can help your body to understand when it needs to fall asleep and when it needs to wake up, which can help prevent you from feeling drowsy in the morning.
It may be easy to gain that extra hour during Daylight Saving Time in the fall, but losing that hour in the springtime can cause some people to feel extra tired and drowsy. It is recommended to prepare early before Daylight Saving time in the spring and go to bed about 10-15 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime in the days before the time change. This allows your body to gain those extra minutes of rest that you will lose once the time changes.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the change in time affects your safety on the roads, so be extra vigilant! Especially at night and during the early hours of the morning, be aware of other drivers who may be driving drowsy, and take care of yourself as well to ensure that you are well-rested and safely driving on the road.
Lamar Law Office is committed to keeping our clients in the Atlanta area safe from accidents, so give us a call if you experience traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents, or any other road accidents due to the negligence of other drivers. Our team of Atlanta attorneys are always ready to support you in your claim and get you the fair and full compensation you deserve. Contact us today to speak directly with our legal care team!