With Daylight Savings right around the corner, it’s important to remember to set your clocks correctly on November first, but to also be extra alert when driving on the days to follow.
Studies show that more accidents seem to occur during the changing times, especially when “springing forward.” The University of Colorado Boulder published a study, “Spring Forward at your own Risk: Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes” by Austin C. Smith, that found that there’s an increase in fatal car accidents up to six days after changing the times. During those first six days, there were over 302 deaths and a cost of $2.75 billion all over a 10-year period.
Although we’re going to be “falling back” an hour, stay alert when driving, because people are known to be better drivers during the daytime. Most of us will be driving to and from work in the dark, since we gain an hour of darkness, which directly affects the tough commuting hours. U.S. News Health explains that if we observed Daylight Savings Time all year-round, as opposed to only twice a year, we could potentially prevent approximately 195 fatal car accidents as well as 171 deadly pedestrian accidents.
According to University of Washington Law Professor, Steve Calandrillo, who had studied the effectiveness of Daylight Savings Time, “darkness kills and sunlight saves lives.” Calandrillo agrees that DSL should be a year-round thing. Advocating that everyone feels more alive at nighttime, and with the sun setting earlier, then more people will be out driving in the darkness at night, also saying that “at 5 pm virtually everyone in society is awake…there are far more people asleep at 7 in the morning than at 7 in the evening.”
Trying to adapt to the time change overnight can be dangerous. Drivers aren’t going to be used to the delayed sunrise or the earlier nighttime darkness. So, be aware because you may think you’re attentive, but you never know about the other driver. That’s why they call it an “accident.”
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