Study finds DST contribute to rise in fatal car crashes

Ohio residents are probably aware of the controversy that surrounds daylight saving time with a bill being introduced that would, if passed, do away with it altogether. Studies in the past have discovered increased heart attacks and workplace injuries in the first week of DST. Now, a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder has found an increase in fatal car crashes during that first week.

The loss of one hour of sleep disrupts everyone’s sleep schedule and can leave some disoriented even for that whole first week of DST. The study found that the number of fatal crashes goes up 6% every year during this time period. Researchers analyzed crash data from 1996 to 2017 and found a consistency in the increase that shows that the link is not coincidental.

They also noticed that the increase was more like 8% for those in the westernmost regions of every time zone. This stands to reason because inhabitants of the westernmost regions are slightly sleep-deprived, sleeping an average of 19 fewer minutes than those who live further east in a time zone.

Regardless of how every state handles the issues relating to DST, there is no doubt that drowsy driving is dangerous. Drowsiness can cause inattention, slow down reaction times and prevent drivers from properly assessing risks.

Under personal injury law, crash victims who are the victims of negligence can be eligible for compensation. In this state, plaintiffs must be less than 50% responsible for a crash to recover damages. These damages could cover monetary damages like medical expenses and non-monetary damages like pain and suffering. To see how strong their case is, victims may want to talk with a lawyer. If hired, the lawyer may have investigators gather evidence against the defendant before heading off to negotiations.