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Adjusting the Clock Increases Risk of Accidents

Changing to and from Daylight Saving Time has long been associated with an increase in accidents. It takes most people several days or weeks to adjust to rising earlier or to driving home after work in the dark. Pedestrians, drivers, joggers, and bicyclists can discuss an accident with a personal injury lawyer in Crystal Lake.

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Risk of accidents infographic


History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is often incorrectly referred to as Daylight Savings Time. Many Americans also give credit to Benjamin Franklin for dreaming up the idea. Franklin did propose a change to sleep schedules. However, Englishman William Willett first campaigned in the early 1900s to change the time seasonally so that people could enjoy more time outdoors.

Germany enacted the time change first, in 1916, during the first World War. The United Kingdom followed suit a few months later. Unfortunately, Willett had passed away the year before and never saw his idea come to fruition. Daylight saving was introduced in the United States as a wartime measure in 1918. Farmers and the agriculture industry opposed changing the time, causing it to be repealed in 1919.

The U.S. was a patchwork of different times until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act. However, Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) do not observe DST.

What Does Research Say?

Research has shown that there is a significant increase in the number of car accidents after the spring time shift. The Monday after the change to DST saw an increase in fatal accidents. There were also more crashes after the fall change during the longer early morning hours immediately after the shift.

These accidents are thought to be due to increased sleepiness (spring) and alcohol consumption (fall). A consultation with a personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake may be helpful after such an accident.

Tips to Adjust to a New Time

Environmental factors, behavior, and medications influence sleep cycles. Adjusting sleep cycles to match a new time can be difficult for many people. To ensure quality sleep:

  • Practice good sleep hygiene

  • Go to bed earlier to prepare for spring change

  • Make snacks to combat sleepiness

  • Keep hydrated

  • Spend some time in the sun

Good sleep hygiene includes keeping lights dim at night and not spending too much time with electronic devices. These include laptops, cell phones, and tablets. Electronic devices can alter normal sleep processes, making quality sleep difficult.


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