Many Pennsylvania residents dread losing an hour of sleep when daylight saving time rolls around each year. Now, researchers report that this sleep disruption can actually increase the risk of getting into a fatal car accident.
According to the study, which was recently published in Current Biology, deadly car accidents increase in the week after daylight saving time starts. To come to this conclusion, researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder analyzed 732,835 U.S. motor vehicle crashes between 1996 and 2017. They found that fatal crashes shoot up 6% in the days following the annual “spring forward” time change, which adds up to nearly 30 extra deaths on U.S. roads every year. They also found that the farther west drivers live in their time zone, the more likely they are to get involved in a fatal crash.
In addition, the study found that the spike in traffic deaths moved from April to March back in 2007, the year that the U.S. officially shifted daylight saving time from early April to the second Sunday in March. This shows that the fatalities are linked to the time change and not other factors. According to the authors of the study, the findings show that daylight saving time has “negative health and safety impacts” on society and should be abolished.
Individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by another driver have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses. If the claim is successful, a judge or jury might order the at-fault driver to pay the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages and more. Under some circumstances, the case might even be settled before it goes to court. Victims may learn more about their legal options by speaking to an attorney about their case.