For many people, the start of Daylight Saving Time signals the unofficial start of Spring. This year, Daylight Saving Time started on March 13, 2016, and here in the Florida Panhandle we experienced Spring-like temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

Unfortunately, Daylight Saving Time signals the start of another season as well: the season of increased risk for vehicle collisions. When the time shifts, research has shown that drivers are more likely to cause serious and fatal accidents.

Why Does Daylight Saving Time Lead to More Accidents?

"When the clocks change — whether it is falling back or springing forward, peoples’ sleep cycles are interrupted, and when sleep cycles are interrupted, they tend to be drowsy." This is according to a representative of the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA has also published a study in which it found that individuals who sleep six or seven hours are twice as likely to cause an accident as those who get at least eight hours of rest on a regular basis.

With Daylight Saving Time, many people lose an hour of sleep – not just on the 23-hour day, but for several days following the time change. This interruption in their normal sleep patterns puts them at greater risk for causing a serious accident.

Research has also shown that:

  • The loss of an hour of sleep causes a significant disruption in individuals’ sleep cycles. This leads to fatigue, which leads to an increased risk of causing an accident.
  • There is a 17-percent jump in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the clocks “spring forward” for Daylight Saving Time.
  • In some regions, overall accident rates increase by as much as 10 percent in the days following the time change.

What Should You Do if You Were Injured by a Drowsy Driver?

If you were injured in an accident that you believe may have been caused by fatigued or drowsy driving, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other accident-related losses. Drowsy driving and falling asleep behind the wheel are common forms of negligence that can justify claims for just compensation. If someone chose to get behind the wheel when they were too tired to drive, you need to protect your legal rights. If you don’t, you could spend months – or even years – bearing the physical, emotional and financial toll of their mistake.

Schedule a Free Auto Accident Consultation at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.

To find out if you may be entitled to financial compensation for injuries sustained in an auto accident, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Crestview auto accident attorney at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. With offices in Crestview, we serve accident victims throughout the Panhandle, and we bring decades of experience to aggressively pursuing our clients’ claims.

Call (850) 682-2757 or send us a request online and we will be happy to assist you in enforcing your legal rights.