Most people give little thought to the impact on safety that Daylight Savings Time has, says Philadelphia accident lawyer Rand Spear.
Although many people appreciate the extra daylight that “springing ahead” an hour affords, no one enjoys losing an hour of sleep when it’s time to roll the clocks forward. Parents especially tend to groan at the thought of dealing with cranky children after a short night, says Philadelphia accident lawyer Rand Spear.
Daylight savings time may be inconvenient, but it can also be hazardous. It turns out that losing an hour of sleep raises the risk of stroke by eight percent in the two days following setting the clocks forward. A University of Alabama study found that daylight savings time also causes a 10 percent jump in heart attacks.
Studies have also shown that there is a spike in car accidents in the week following implementation of Daylight Savings Time. A study conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder concluded that the first six days of Daylight Savings Time were directly responsible for 302 deaths and a cost of $2.75 billion over a 10-year period. The Fatal Accident Reporting System also found a 17 percent jump in deadly auto accidents the Monday after clocks sprang ahead.
How to Stay Safe After Springing Forward
Unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona, which don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, you’ll have to sacrifice an hour of sleep when Daylight Savings Time rolls around. However, there are several steps you can take to stay as safe as possible:
- Stop eating at least two hours before bed.
- Get at least seven to nine hours of sleep.
- Turn off your smartphone, tablet, or computer before turning in, as blue screens have been shown to interfere with sleep.
- Try to squeeze in naps in the days following Daylight Savings Time.
- Create a bedtime ritual to prepare your body for sleep. You can do stretches, deep breathing exercises, or take a relaxing bath to let your brain know it’s time to rest.
If you can, you should also try to go to bed earlier the night before you’re supposed to turn your clocks ahead. Sleep experts say that even an additional 30 minutes of rest can help your body adjust to the time change.
Philadelphia Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Philadelphia accident lawyer Rand Spear explains, “Sleep deprivation is a serious problem on U.S. roads. The time change tends to throw people off for days, which only exacerbates the problem. It’s important to be extra cautious in the days following Daylight Savings Time, especially if you have an early morning commute.”
If you have been injured in an accident, discuss your case with an experienced attorney today.