Are there real dangers associated with daylight saving time?

According to studies of car accidents, work accidents and sleep deprivation, the answer is "yes." While not everyone may believe that losing one hour of sleep is enough to cause serious problems, research shows that some accidents do spike during the week of daylight saving time in March.

Car accidents can increase

The U.S. Department of Transportation issues warnings about the dangers of driving during the first few days of daylight saving time. Sleepy drivers and darker mornings mean an increase in car accidents that cause injuries. During the week of daylight saving time, these accidents increase by 10 percent during the day and by 30 percent during morning hours.

Tired drivers are more likely to have slower reaction times behind the wheel. They also have trouble making good decisions and paying attention. This means they may:

  • Fail to see pedestrians
  • Have difficulty responding to traffic conditions
  • Drive too fast
  • Run off the road
  • Miss traffic signs and signals
  • Fall asleep while driving

If you were injured by a drowsy driver of a car, truck or commercial vehicle, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle and lost income. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and discuss your options with you.

Workers are at risk for accidents

Researchers using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration discovered an increase in work accidents during the week of daylight saving time in March, but not during the week of "falling back" in November. Their research shows that March daylight saving time affects U.S. workers in the following ways:

  • They get 40 minutes less sleep per day
  • Work-related injuries increase by 5.7 percent
  • Injuries result in almost 68 percent more lost work days

While injured workers typically receive workers' compensation benefits, in some cases, this is not enough. If you were injured by a third party such as a contractor, vendor or manufacturer, you may be able to file a personal injury suit. Learn more about how you may recover additional financial damages by talking to an attorney.

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