Did you know that Daylight Savings Time is not a federal mandate? Besides Alaska and Hawaii, all other U.S. states voluntarily elect to “spring forward and fall back” year to year, resulting in a time change that also rings in a new season. Since winding the clocks back on November 6, many people have been eager to enjoy the “extra” hour of sleep – but others have dreaded the 5 p.m. nightfall. No matter where your personal preferences fall, one thing is for sure: the return from Daylight Savings Time can introduce a change of pace on San Diego roadways.

The main issue at hand is the most obvious one: a reduction in daylight, and winter driving. Fortunately, here in San Diego, residents are spared of the treacherous snow falls and icy conditions. In San Diego County, our weather is fairly predictable, and in one word, enviable. But despite our weather advantage, San Diegans must deal with an early nightfall like everyone else.

What can you expect this winter?

The increase of night driving during Standard Daylight Time has its impact. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that an extra hour of daylight reduces car accidents by 1.2 to 5 percent. When Californians return to Standard Daylight Time, the lost hour of daylight can mean an increased risk on the road. And the safety concerns transcend to the workplace as well: in a 2009 study at the University of Michigan, researchers found that a return from Daylight Savings Time increased workplace injury within the immediate weeks following the change.

What can you do to make the most of Standard Daylight Time?

Despite its drawbacks, there are some positive features of going back to Standard Daylight Time. For instance, winding the clocks back one hour results in brighter, lighter mornings (early risers can enjoy sunshine as opposed to night-laden mornings). Plus, many people report feeling more refreshed during Standard Daylight Time due to the shift in sleep. Either way, whether you’re a fan of Daylight Savings Time or Standard Time, consider the following tips as it pertains to safety on the road and at work.

Remember your lights. All too often, drivers forget to use driving lights in dusky weather. If the sun is down, put your lights on. It doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious.

Pedestrians are a big factor. Just because it’s an early nightfall doesn’t mean people are not out and about. According to a study at Carnegie Mellon, pedestrians stand a 300 percent greater chance of being hit by a car during the initial few weeks of the end of Daylight Savings Time. Keep your eye out for people, especially on city streets.

Children and pets are harder to see. The dim lighting and nightfall makes driving more difficult since visibility is reduced. Be sure to slow down on neighborhood streets during the first few weeks of Standard Daylight Time since children and pets may often dart into the street.

Foster concentration in the workplace. If you work in a laborious or strenuous kind of job, your chance for workplace injury may increase when Daylight Savings Time ends. The slight change in time management can make room for mistakes and mishaps. During the first few weeks of the change, try to foster concentration by taking your regularly scheduled breaks and adjusting your sleep schedule to one that works for you.

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

Personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines are car accident injury experts. If you have been injured an accident that was not your fault, we can help. Call us at 1-858-551-2090 for a free legal evaluation. We’ll answer your legal questions for free. Call us today.

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