Cleveland, Ohio residents know how hard it can be to drive in lake effect snow under normal conditions. But, it gets a little trickier when our routine changes due to the daylight savings time change.
A study recently found that fatalmotor vehicle accidents spiked by nearly six percent in the week after daylight savings time. That equals almost 30 additional deaths in the week when people adjust to the time change.
What effect does DST have on our bodies?
When we go through daylight savings time, we lose an hour of sleep until the next time change. This is because our bodies don’t have enough time to adjust to getting up an hour earlier.
Daylight savings time also makes the mornings darker than you’re used to, which can affect how you feel and interpret time. Because your body still thinks you’re getting up an hour earlier, you may be drowsy throughout the day or tired earlier.
Drowsy driving is dangerous
Research has shown that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Your reaction time is slowed when you’re tired, and you may also have difficulty focusing. This can make it more difficult to stop or react quickly when you’re behind the wheel.
You also might have a harder time seeing when the mornings are darker. When all of the population is tired and adjusting to a new schedule, accidents are much more likely to happen.
Drivers are more likely to speed
It’s essential to change your clocks after daylight savings time. If someone forgets to change their clocks back or oversleeps in general, they may be racing out the door.
This behavior leads them to race on the morning commutes to work, among other times. Speeding is a factor that can lead to severe accidents, especially if the person is drowsy and speeding at the same time.
Prepare for DST
You can make the shift less drastic by going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in the days leading up to daylight savings time. It might be an adjustment at first, but it’s better to transition into DST rather than hurry into it gradually.