It might seem intuitive, but research indicates that changing sleep patterns can lead to more traffic accidents. Specifically, a growing body of research indicates that traffic accidents spike in the days following the beginning and those days following the end of Daylight Saving Time. Research indicates that the shift in how much sleep people get affects their driving, even when it is more sleep. Studies indicate that fatal accidents spike as much as 17 percent in the days after the switch to or from Daylight Saving Time.
Ways to Avoid Problems Associated with the Switch to or from Daylight-Saving Time
It is important to be aware that the transition from or to Daylight Saving Time can cause problems on the road. This can include the problems caused by sleep disruption—for you as well as for other drivers. You should always be alert to them, as well. Steps you can take to deal with this disruption include:
It might be a good idea to take the Monday after the transition to or from Daylight Saving Time off of work.
If not, then it’s probably a good idea to get to bed an hour earlier the night of the transition (that Saturday night), wake up an hour earlier on Sunday, and go to bed an hour earlier on Sunday night following the switch to or from Daylight Saving Time. This will help you to prepare for the first workday with the time change.
If you can, try to get a couple of naps in on the weekend—but no longer than 30 minutes and not too close to bedtime.
If you have driving to do, try to delay it to later in the day, or walk or take public transit instead, particularly after the switch to or from Daylight Saving Time.
Be on the Lookout for Fatigued Drivers Following the Transition to or from Daylight Saving Time
No matter what you do to prepare for the switch to or from Daylight Saving Time, you must be aware that other drivers might not be so prepared. Following the switch to or from Daylight Saving Time, be especially vigilant about the behavior of other drivers. Stay on the lookout for signs of fatigued drivers, including:
- Poor lane discipline, including swerving
- Failure to signal turns or lane changes
- Apparent inattention to speed control, including speeding up and slowing down without apparent cause
- Other indications the driver is not attentive
Be alert for any signs that drivers around you are negatively affected by the time change so that you can avoid accidents. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident with a fatigued driver, however, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can.
Call Us Today to Speak With a Houston Car Accident Lawyer About Your Options
If you are involved in an accident following the change to or from Daylight Saving Time, the time shift may have created a hazardous situation that caused the other driver's negligence. Disrupted sleep might have contributed to negligence on the other driver’s part. The issue is worth exploring. Under such circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free case evaluation to see if you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, contact Stewart J. Guss, attorney at law, at 800-898-4877, or send us an email through our online contact form.