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After Daylight Saving Time shift, roads are more dangerous

Last weekend, everyone performed the seemingly-ridiculous ritual of turning their clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time. That meant that last week, people were adjusting to a new sleep pattern -- and for one night, at least, they received one less hour of sleep than they are used to.

So why are we talking about this on a personal injury blog? Well, as it turns out, the change to Daylight Saving Time has a significant impact on road safety the day after the time change. And the effect lingers for six days after the change as well.

A study that looked into the effect of Daylight Saving Time on road safety found a 17 percent increase in the number of traffic fatalities the Monday following the shift in time. The study also looked at a 10-year period for accidents within the 6-day window following the shift to Daylight Saving Time and found 302 fatal accidents.

What is clear is that Daylight Saving Time causes the roads to be more dangerous than normal, at least for a short time. But on a more tangible level, this study highlights the dangers of drowsy driving.

When a driver is fatigued due to a lack of sleep or drowsy due to some other influence, they are more likely to cause motor vehicle accidents. Their fatigued, drowsy state can be the subject of scrutiny, and they could be held liable for their reckless driving by any victims (or their loved ones) of an accident they cause.

Source: Telegram, "Deadly car crashes spike after changing clocks for Daylight Saving Time," Donna Boynton, March 6, 2015

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