Tips for Driving Safely After Daylight Saving Time in Maryland
The annual change from Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the fall includes a spike in deadly car wrecks. It’s critical for Maryland motorists to be aware of this fact and exercise caution on the roads as we head further into the holiday season.
The end of DST in November is celebrated for bringing along an extra hour of sleep, but it also means driving more in the dark and interrupted sleep patterns — both of which increase the chance of crashes for several weeks following the switch, according to AAA.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University, in a collaboration with the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia, also believe that a rise in drowsy driving accidents after the fall time change is partly due to the fact that people stay up later, believing that the extra hour of sleep from “falling back” will allow them to catch up the next day. But according to the Sleep Health Foundation, sleeping in can only repay some sleep debt. It’s not a replacement for regular, healthy sleep habits.
“Springing Forward” Is Hazardous, Too
Losing an hour of sleep when DST begins in the spring is responsible for a six percent increase in fatal car wrecks, according to a University of Colorado study recently published in the journal Current Biology.
The increase translates to an average of 28 additional deaths each year. The spike is even higher — roughly eight percent — for those who live on the western edge of their time zones.
Researchers suggest that DST may harm our health more than previously thought. The time switch is believed to cause a rise in workplace injuries, sleep difficulties, stroke, and heart attack.
Why Do Accidents Spike After the Fall Time Change?
Sleep deprivation is not the only factor that contributes to a rise in car accidents when DST ends. After the switch, people drive in the dark more often. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision can be limited by darkness.
In addition, the glare of headlights from an approaching vehicle can be blinding. This combination of factors can contribute to reduced reaction times and limited visibility for drivers, increasing the risk of a deadly wreck.
Safety Tips for Driving at Night
The National Safety Council offers these tips for safe night driving:
- Make sure your headlights are clean and accurately aimed.
- Dim your dashboard.
- Glance away from oncoming lights.
- If you wear glasses, make sure they have anti-reflective lenses.
- Keep your windshield clean to eliminate streaks.
- Slow down to better deal with limited visibility and reduced stopping time.
Contact a Waldorf Car Accident Lawyer If You’ve Been Injured
Were you injured in a Maryland crash? You could be entitled to compensation if another party is to blame. A Waldorf car accident lawyer at Trollinger Law LLC can fight for the compensation that you’re entitled to.
Don’t wait until your injuries get worse to make your claim. Call or contact us for a free consultation today. There’s no fee unless we win.