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Daylight savings can spark a rise in motor vehicle accidents

In the Shenandoah Valley and across Virginia, the roads can be a dangerous place. There are times, however, when that risk is increased due to circumstances. One issue that places drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians in jeopardy is daylight savings time. Since this is a fundamental change to people’s routines, it can be an unexpected challenge to remaining safe on the road. If an accident happens immediately after daylight savings, it is wise to think about whether the time change was a relevant factor.

Researchers assess the connection between daylight savings and auto accidents

According to researchers, daylight savings could lead to drowsy driving and cause a spike in motor vehicle accidents. An expert from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says that the abrupt difference in sleep patterns and routines may hinder safe driving. There are certain steps that drivers can take to avoid the negatives associated with daylight savings. Avoiding driving at certain hours is one strategy. There are specific times when drivers tend to have more accidents: between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and during rush hour. In the early morning hours, people are naturally inclined to sleep. Ignoring that urge can be problematic on the road and that is compounded by daylight savings.

People often fail to get a full night of sleep with the optimal amount being between seven and eight hours. That can result in drowsiness without even realizing it. There are signs when a person is drowsy. These include having trouble keeping one’s eyes open, frequent yawning, feeling fidgety, drifting from lanes, failing to maintain speed and having delayed reactions to road issues. When on straight roadways or taking part in redundant driving activities, there may be a tendency to nod off. Drivers need to be cognizant of this and avoid or mitigate these factors if possible.

Knowing the cause of an auto accident can help with determining a course of action

After motor vehicle accidents, people can be confronted with a seemingly endless stream of concerns. This will include medical expenses, lost time on the job, long-term damage and a lack of certainty as to what the future holds. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will need to think about how they will proceed in a financial, personal and emotional way. People might not realize that daylight savings could be relevant in an auto accident, but statistics suggest it is. After an accident, it is important to understand how and why it happened. Having professional assistance to assess the case can be vital with deciding how to move forward.