Daylight Savings Time (DST) officially ends on November 7th. This is when we turn the clocks back one hour. Although many people will enjoy that extra hour of sleeping in, there are many who will also lament that hour loss of daylight. But research has shown that loss of daylight can be more than just an inconvenience – it can also be dangerous, bringing with it an increase in car crashes.
Risks to Pedestrians
While the overall risk of being involved in a traffic accident increases when DST ends, the risk to pedestrians is especially high. In fact, researchers have discovered that the risk of pedestrian deaths at 6 pm is far higher in November than in any other month. Studies also show that almost half of all pedestrian accidents happen when it is dark outside. Although it may be dark outside at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, there are still many people – especially children – who are outside, walking home from school or work.
Another problem with DST is that it throws off our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. This can wreak havoc on how alert a person is, something that is pivotal when a person is behind the wheel. Switching our sleep patterns twice a year – spring ahead and fall behind – can affect our alertness and cause drowsiness as we are driving.
Each year, there are approximately 100,000 drowsy driving accidents. People are killed in almost 1,000 of those crashes, and another 40,000 are injured.
There are too many drivers on the road who continue to drive despite the fact they are tired and sleep-deprived. Tragically, this leads to thousands of deadly car accidents each year and too many losses of lives. Those fortunate enough to survive a drowsy driving crash often face long and painful recoveries from their injuries.
Shorter daylight hours also mean that drivers find their vision can be impaired once the sun sets. Safety advocates recommend that drivers dim their dashboard lights in order to decrease distractions when driving at night. Drivers should also make sure the headlights on their vehicles are clean and aimed right. Try not to look directly into oncoming vehicle headlights. Glasses with anti-glare lenses can also help.
Call Our Office Today
Car crash victims often suffer from injuries that require a long-term recovery process. This often involves high medical expenses, as well as lost wages from work, and pain and suffering. And it is not uncommon for victims to suffer life-long damage from these injuries.
Insurance companies will often try to pressure car crash victims to settle their claims quickly and for much less than what the victim deserves. That is why it is critical to contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney immediately following a collision for advice and direction. Our personal injury law firm has built a solid reputation for aggressively advocating for our clients against difficult insurance companies and getting them the compensation they are entitled to.
Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For more information, download our free guide to car crash injuries in Virginia.
- NHTSA: Nighttime Driving Leads to More Fatal Car Crashes
- Pedestrian Accident Risks
- Car Accident Risks Increase Over Winter Months