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Daylight Savings Crashes Spike When the Clocks Go Forward

As your lawyer, I do everything in my power to get you results.- Jim Hurley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Daylight Savings Crashes Spike When the Clocks Go Forward

An hour may seem like no big deal but evidence of a spike in daylight savings crashes every year in March suggests otherwise.

Daylight saving time took effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Research shows the loss of an hour’s sleep leads to more crashes on the roads of Virginia and elsewhere.

AAA spokesman John Townsend said research points to a rise in fatal auto crashes after daylight savings arrives. His organization claims both the March change and the end of daylight savings in November is linked to a rise in car crashes.

Townsend warns driving with just four to five hours of sleep carries similar risks to driving drunk.

Daylight savings crashes rise

He pointed to research that shows the risk persists for the first six days of daylight saving time.

Drowsy driving is a massive problem before daylight savings is imposed. The 2016 Traffic Safety Culture Index from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found three out of 10 drivers reported feeling sleepy behind the wheel.

In cities such as Washington DC and Virginia Beach, drivers typically get less sleep than in more rural areas.

Statistics by the University of Colorado pointed to a 17 percent rise in traffic deaths on the Monday after the clocks go forward. It’s hard to believe one hour would make such a major difference. However, the change in the hour appears to disrupt sleep patterns in March and November.

Studies show getting less than five hours sleep a night increases the risk of having a wreck four to five times. The AAA stated more than 250,000 people fall asleep at the wheel in America. Although they may fall asleep for a short period, just a few seconds can prove to be deadly.

Daylight savings dates back to 1918 when it was brought in by President Woodrow Wilson. There are some questions about whether it’s necessary at all in the 21st Century given that the Standard Time Act of 1918 was brought in to cut back on coal use and energy during the war.

We are concerned about the prevalence of daylight savings crashes. Please exercise care during your commute into Hampton Roads tomorrow and watch out for drowsy drivers on the roads. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a wreck, please call us for a free consultation at (757) 55-0077.

John Cooper

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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