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How Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Car Accident Risk

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee car crash attorneyRecently, the country, like many around the world, sprung forward into daylight savings time, and in doing so increased drivers' risk for suffering a serious car accident. The spring adjustment for daylight savings time subtracts an hour from everyone's sleep, and some research suggests that the change in sleep patterns makes people less attentive drivers. This, along with other potential health concerns, has led to suggestions to remove daylight savings from the calendar, since it no longer serves its original purpose. Yet, some other research suggests that it may actually have beneficial safety effects from a traffic perspective.

Why Have Daylight Savings Time

In some sense, people observed daylight savings time for much of human history since strict scheduling and precise times were not kept. Instead, farmers would simply adjust their schedules based on sunrise and sunset. However, the advent of trains, which crossed the country and ran on precise schedules, led to a standardization of times across the world. This created problems because the standard times would not always line up well with the daylight.

Although people had suggested some form of daylight savings at several points through history, it was first officially enacted during World War I. In 1916, Germany and its allies switched over to a daylight savings system in order to conserve fuel for the war effort since they would use less for lighting. Over the next few years, the rest of Europe and America followed the trend. Of course, in today's world those sorts of concerns do not really come into play. People have more or less completely decoupled their schedules from the daylight, which has led to some calls to repeal daylight savings because of the possible negative effects it has.

Daylight Savings and Car Crashes

Some research suggests that the loss of sleep can have serious repercussions for traffic accidents in the days following the spring daylight savings adjustment. In fact, one study showed that traffic fatalities increase by 17 percent the Monday after daylight savings. Researchers attribute this to the fact that it can take several days to adjust to the new sleep schedule that results from daylight savings.

While the majority of research supports this conclusion, there are some studies that find no effect or that show a beneficial safety effect from daylight savings. The theory is that daylight savings may make it easier for drivers to see because they spend less time driving in the dark, which may make accidents more likely.

Regardless of what causes a car accident, it can be a serious, life-altering event. If you or one of your loved ones has been involved in a car crash, contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today to learn more about your options for receiving full, fair compensation for your injuries.

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