Does Daylight Saving Time Affect Car Accidents?

Person changing the clock settings on car display

Generally speaking, yes, daylight savings time does affect car accidents. Car accidents increase by 6% the week following Daylight Saving Time. According to Healthline:

  • The annual time switch increases sleep deprivation, resulting in jet lag-like symptoms that leave people feeling drowsy behind the wheel of a car.

  • In some cases, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

  • Experts say both drowsy driving and drunk driving negatively affect how well you can make fast decisions and make it hard to pay attention to the road and properly assess potential hazards.

  • Experts recommend prioritizing your sleep in the days leading up to the DST transition to help your body ease into the time change to offset health risks.

How Can I Prevent Drowsiness While Driving?

Not only during Daylight Saving Time but all the time, it’s essential to take safety precautions to avoid driving while being drowsy. Some tips you can use to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel:

  1. Take a break after every 2 hours of driving.

  2. Don’t slouch in your seat. Sitting up and keeping proper posture can keep you more alert and awake.

  3. If you drink caffeine, consider having a cup or two of coffee, a soda pop, or other caffeinated beverages by your side.

  4. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Don’t take long road trips alone. Drive with a passenger and make sure you get enough shut-eye before you leave on your journey.

Warning Signs Of Drowsy Driving

If you notice any of these signs, we recommend you safely pull over and take a rest. Or, if you see another car on the road exhibiting these behaviors, consider keeping your distance or calling authorities for help. Here are the top warning signs from

  • Head nodding

  • Trouble remembering the last few miles you’ve driven

  • Frequent yawning, blinking, or dry eyes

  • Missing an exit or a road sign

  • Following cars too closely

  • Drifting in and out of marked lanes or hitting the side rumble strips

If you or someone you know was recently injured due to a distracted driving accident, and you believe it may have been because of another’s negligence, contact Loscalzo & Loscalzo, P.C. at (646) 846-4776 to discuss your case with one of our personal injury attorneys today.