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Car accidents may rise with changing of clocks

Safety advocates have warned that the changing of the clocks may make Pennsylvania roadways more dangerous. As Daylight Savings Time begins across the United States, the time change may introduce disruption in sleep patterns that could contribute to drowsy driving and other risks on the roads, warns the American Automobile Association. While the clock reset takes place at 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday to minimize disruption, the AAA said that the time change could disturb the sleep-wake cycle. At the same time, the clock change accompanies some of the other risks that come along with the winter season.

Fall means shorter days, darker nights, swirling leaves and higher levels of precipitation. Ice or frost can also develop on the road. Driving in the dark can contribute to greater feelings of drowsiness, especially if drivers find themselves suddenly going to and from work in the dark. They need to take greater care to avoid pedestrians and prevent car accidents. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is linked to crashes that cause at least 6,400 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

The fall and winter months have some of the highest rates for motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians, especially in October, November and December. Reports indicate that the first two weeks of daylight saving time tend to show a notable increase in accidents above the two weeks before the clock change. Safety experts advise driving more slowly in the dark, turning on headlights in marginal lighting situations and yielding the right of way to pedestrians.

Traffic accidents can be incredibly destructive at any time of the year. Victims may suffer catastrophic injuries and face costly medical bills. People who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else's negligent driving may work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation.

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