Daylight savings time might be valuable to people living in New York who appreciate the sun setting at a later date. Some commuters might like having more daytime in which to drive. However, commuting during the early onset of daylight savings time could have a troublesome effect: car accidents might increase.
Daylight savings time and car accidents
A study conducted by the University of Colorado, Boulder, and published in Current Biology reveals that fatal car accidents increase by about 6% in the week after daylight savings time starts. That figure does not account for accidents that did not result in fatalities. However, increased collisions causing property damage and bodily harm also might experience a spike.
The human mind and body likely need some time to adjust to daylight savings time. Sometimes, people experience a lack of sleep and symptoms similar to jet lag when struggling to switch to the later sunset conditions. Their struggles can lead them to become involved in a car crash.
Drowsiness and auto accidents
Drowsy driving contributes to many motor vehicle accidents, as tired drivers might feel impaired. A tired driver might not react in time to avoid hitting another vehicle or a pedestrian. Reaction time could slow, and perceptions may diminish. There could even be instances where a driver falls asleep at the wheel, making a collision almost impossible to avoid.
In many ways, drowsy driving is similar to driving under the influence. Not only are the effects of drowsy driving similar, but a driver might think they are fine to drive when they are not. When these drivers cause a collision because of their fatigue, they may face a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for losses.