Mar 18, 2021

Time's Changing For Drivers - Beware Drowsiness!


Turning the Clock Back Means One Hour of Light Difference

Michael Ehline at the court
United States Supreme Court

It's that time of year again when nature's clock changes the hours of light and dark. Soon we will be setting our clocks forward. Were you or a loved one severe injury in a daylight savings-related accident? We know from being Los Angeles car crash lawyers that you are not alone if you crashed during the time change.

Benjamin Franklin suggested the idea back in 1784, as a way to economize on sunlight and burn fewer candles during winter mornings and nights, but the practice did not become steadily official in the United States until Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, with the same intention of saving energy. (Citation, infra.)

This time of year is when you need to get extra rest because of the change in dusk and dawn. It's sleep awareness time since this change can make a difference in traveling to and from work or doing simple errands.

When the clocks change, there will be an hour difference, but for a driver, it can mean leaving for a job in the dark or just as it is beginning to get light. Then coming home, it can be nearing dusk after a long day. The sun can also be a factor as it sets for drivers.

What is Fall Back?

The adage is "fall back and spring forward" during this time of year; when we fall back, we lose an hour of sleep when the clock changes or vice versa when springing forward. Michael Ehline, Esquire, a Los Angeles car accident attorney, said this one hour makes a big difference to drivers, especially those working the night shift, including commercial vehicle drivers feeling the yearly effects.

Their loss of the hour can make drivers feel drowsy, slowing their reaction time. Also, your driving judgment can be impaired, including your vision. Also, drivers involved in a crash because they fall asleep risk police infraction citations, causing loss of their license.

Are drowsy drivers a Major Cause of Accidents?

Yes! Every year drivers who become drowsy cause thousands of accidents. Some U.S. states have installed thousands of miles of rumble strips on highways to combat this rising problem. These strips are bumps in the road to deter drowsiness and may reduce some crashes, but thousands of yearly crashes involving tired drivers still happen.

Ehline said drivers often open their windows, turn on the air conditioning, or turn up the radio to help them stay awake. The lawyer said it doesn't work as an effective method for drowsiness usually. He said they still see many crashes and rear-end accidents causing injury to the driver or another person.

What Are Some Driver Tips?

The Los Angeles car crash lawyer urges drivers to get proper rest now so when the clocks change, and they won't feel the sleepy effects of Daylight Savings Time.

Ehline offers a few tips for drivers:

  • Almost all Americans do not get the 8 hours of sleep recommended every night. It is essential to make sure to get the right amount of sleep this time of year.
  • Medications may cause drowsiness, whether it is prescription or over-the-counter. It is essential to know the side effects of any drugs. Even something as simple as an over-the-counter allergy medication, see if it causes drowsiness.
  • Take breaks if driving long distances. Take a 15 or 20-minute nap, whether driving a short or long distance.
  • Make sure to have sunglasses in the vehicle. This time of year, the sun rises and sets at different times than in the spring and summer months. This time can cause sun blindness when driving. Also, the sun is lower than it has been in recent months, putting the sun at a different angle when driving.
  • Do not drink before driving, even for a short or long distance.

Most of all, people must be mindful of their surroundings. Also, drivers must consider we're not prepared for new differences between hours and light. Hence, those enlightened motorists have to pick up the slack and surround their vehicles with a cushion of space. You smart drivers must beware of daylight savings driving risks, avoiding becoming serious injury victims.

In conclusion, we discussed daylight savings driving risks and tips to avoid driving incidents. If you need to learn more, please review the citations below or get a free legal consultation from a serious injury lawyer in Los Angeles at Ehline Law Firm.

Citations: Poppick, Laura. "5 Weird Effects of Daylight Saving Time." LiveScience. N.p., 2 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

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