Daylight Saving Time begins in early March this year. When we turn our clocks forward in the spring, we experience more light in the evening hours. While many people look forward to having more daylight hours, the switch to Daylight Saving Time can impact driving safety because of lost sleep. Below, we discuss this issue and provide tips for Daylight Savings Time safety.
When Is Daylight Saving Time in 2022?
Daylight Saving Time begins on March 13, 2022. At 2:00 AM on March 13, residents of states that participate in Daylight Saving Time, including Texas, will turn their clocks forward one hour to 3:00 AM. Many people remember how to begin Daylight Saving Time by thinking, “spring forward.”
How Daylight Saving Time Can Negatively Impact Us
When Daylight Saving Time begins each year, we generally lose about an hour of sleep, which can make us mentally fuzzy and throw off our normal daily routines. That lack of sleep can affect our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and can contribute to car accidents.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins and Stanford University published a study that found a noticeable increase in car accident fatalities on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time began. They compiled fatal crash data from the 21 years prior to the study to demonstrate how Daylight Saving Time might affect cognitive function and to establish the link between car accidents and daylight savings. The average number of car accident fatalities on ordinary Mondays was about 78.2 deaths, but on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time, that number increased to an average of 83.5 deaths.
Staying Safe on The Roads
You might feel a bit off when Daylight Saving Time starts, which is why it’s important to get adequate rest and be extra vigilant when driving in the days after our clocks collectively “spring forward.” To that end, consider following these tips to stay safe on the roads after the switch to Daylight Saving Time:
- Get plenty of rest – Fortunately, the switch to Daylight Saving Time occurs early Sunday morning. If possible, use Sunday to ensure you are well-rested for the week ahead. You can also slowly adjust your normal bedtime during the week leading up to the start of Daylight Saving Time. That way, your body has time to acclimate to the change.
- Don’t get behind the wheel when fatigued – Driver fatigue is a common cause of car accidents. Fatigue can impair your ability to concentrate on the road and judge traffic situations. If you doze off behind the wheel, the consequences could be catastrophic. If you’re too fatigued to drive, consider riding with a friend, catching an Uber, or using public transportation.
- Pull over if necessary – If you feel fatigued while driving or find your eyelids drooping, the safest thing to do is pull over to a safe location, take a brief nap, and drink a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage. At the same time, remember that restful sleep is the only real cure for driver fatigue.
- Avoid alcohol at night – If you know that you will be driving home at night, avoid consuming alcohol. It can increase driver fatigue, cause further impairment, and reduce your reaction time.
- Avoid driving at night – If possible, avoid driving between midnight and 6 AM, especially if you are not well-rested.
Contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian for Help Following a Houston Car Crash
If you were injured in a car crash and DST was a factor, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer for help. The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian can explain how we can help you pursue compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today for a free consultation.