Why Car Accidents Increase When Daylight Saving Time Begins

ER Injury Attorneys
Daylight Saving Car Accidents in Las Vegas

Daylight saving time (DST) begins on March 10, 2024. Nevadans will get to enjoy an extra hour of sunlight during the day at the expense of one hour of sleep as their clocks “spring forward.” While most people enjoy the additional sunlight, many are unaware that the first week of DST typically has more automobile collisions and crashes than normal. The Las Vegas car wreck lawyers at ER Injury Attorneys explain the causes of daylight saving car accidents.

4 Reasons Why Daylight Saving Car Accidents Happen

The initial adjustment to daylight saving time can be jarring. While losing “only” one hour of sleep seems like an inconsequential thing on paper, the reality is that it can have a significant impact on your body and mind in the days following the change to DST. Here are four reasons why car crashes increase during the first week of DST.

1) Sleep Deprivation

The most frequently cited reason for the rise in accidents during the transition to DST is the loss of an hour of sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of three Americans do not get enough sleep. The switch to DST exacerbates that problem. This sleep deprivation disrupts your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to a higher-than-normal number of drowsy drivers and fatigued drivers on the road. 

The mental effects of losing one hour of sleep have a bigger impact than most people realize. This can be especially dangerous when performing an activity that requires significant mental attention, such as driving. Motorists with sleep-deprived minds can have difficulty focusing on the road and making safe driving decisions, both of which can lead to Las Vegas daylight saving car accidents.

2) Disruptions to Circadian Rhythm

In addition to the mental effects listed above, the switch to DST can also affect your body. Most people do not adjust their sleep schedule in the days leading up to the time change and the abrupt shift disrupts circadian rhythm, commonly referred to as the body’s internal clock. This intricate system regulates your sleep-wake cycle, hormone production, and other bodily functions.

When DST throws circadian rhythm off balance, it can mimic the effects of jet lag, which can have a major impact on your reaction time. Driving safely can involve split-second maneuvers in order to avoid a collision. The lethargy caused by the time change can cause your hands and feet to respond slower than they normally do, which can be disastrous while driving.

3) Changes in Sunlight Patterns

The mornings following the DST shift will be darker than those from the week before. The darkness reduces visibility, which can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, motorcycle drivers, and other vehicles on the road, increasing the chances of a Las Vegas daylight saving time car accident.

Furthermore, your eyes may need time to adjust to the sudden change in light levels, leading to impaired vision or blurred vision. This can further compromise your ability to drive safely during the early morning hours.

4) Distracted Driving

The combination of sleep deprivation and the disruption of circadian rhythm makes you more susceptible to distracted driving. The struggle to stay awake and focused can lead to engaging in risky behaviors like using phones, eating, applying makeup, or shaving while driving. These distractions further divert attention away from the crucial task of maintaining road awareness, significantly increasing the risk of a crash.

While your body can adapt to the time change over a few days, the initial disruption creates a window of increased risk on the road in the days following the switch to DST.

Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer

The team at ER Injury Attorneys hopes that you have a better understanding of the causes of daylight saving car accidents. We urge you to take the issue seriously and be especially cautious while driving in the days following the change to DST. Should you get into a DST car accident caused by another driver then contact us for immediate assistance.

Our accomplished Las Vegas injury lawyers are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us by phone at 702-878-7878 and online through LiveChat or secure contact form. ER Injury Attorneys represents accident victims throughout Southern Nevada, including Henderson, Summerlin, Pahrump, Boulder City, Laughlin, and beyond. To get the settlement you deserve combined with top-notch customer service, contact ER Injury Attorneys today.

The information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship nor does viewing this material constitute an attorney-client relationship.