Burnett & Williams

Do more fatal car accidents happen after Daylight Savings?

Do more fatal car accidents happen after Daylight Savings?

close up of wristwatch and hand on the wheel

Unfortunately, yes.

According to the National Institute of Health the number of fatal traffic accidents increases slightly after daylight savings time. The increase in accidents is likely caused by sleep deprivation from the “Spring Forward,” which results in the loss of an hour of sleep for many people.

“Drowsy Driving” has been estimated to cause 1,550 deaths, tens of thousands of injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Some groups are more likely to drive drowsy, like men, adults between 18-29, and parents.

Driving while tired increases the amount of stress people feel while driving. Many people feel more impatient. Drivers even report driving faster when they are tired. Being tired means the body is less alert and retards reaction time, just like alcohol or opioids.

The best way to protect yourself and others is to plan a weekend schedule that puts you (and the kids) to bed an hour early. This will give your body a head start in adjusting to the new sleep schedule, and help ensure the rest you need to stay alert and travel to your destination safely.