Springing ahead for daylight savings time may have more implications than simply losing an hour of sleep. It could contribute to car accidents and health problems, according to recent studies. Many people can easily adapt to the change of losing an hour of sleep so long as they remember to turn their clocks ahead before bed but others struggle with the internal biological rhythm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published that approximately 40% of American adults don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. Those individuals who got less than seven hours of sleep during a 24-hour period had a much higher risk of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, asthma and obesity, when compared with their counterparts getting plenty of shut-eye per night.

After the shift to daylight savings time, according to research from a Stanford University study, there is a small uptick in fatal accidents. This was determined after looking at 21 different years of accident data. More drunken drivers on the road maybe one of the reasons why accidents spike. There is also a short-term increase in the assault rate, according to a University of Pennsylvania study associated with the end of daylight saving each fall.

People on certain medications as well as seniors are more likely to have difficulty making the change to the clock. If you were already involved in an accident on this most recent change in daylight savings time, you need to set aside time to speak directly with a lawyer about your ability to file for compensation.

Additional Resources

  • Fatal car accidents in the United States spike by 6% during the workweek following the “spring forward” to daylight saving time, resulting in about 28 additional deaths each year, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research. [Source: ScienceDaily]
  • Fatal car accidents spike when we ‘spring’ The researchers looked at 732,835 car accidents recorded through the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System that took place between 1996 and 2017. The researchers discovered a consistent rise in fatal car crashes during the week we “spring forward.” [Source: Healthline]
  • Public health educators should probably consider issuing warnings both about the effects of sleep loss in the spring shift and possible behaviors such as staying out later, particularly when consuming alcohol in the fall shift. Sleep clinicians should be aware that health consequences from forced changes in the circadian patterns resulting from DST come not only from physiological adjustments but also from behavioral responses to forced circadian changes. [Source: PubMed.gov]