Search Site
Main Office : 125 St Pauls Blvd, Ste 510, Norfolk, Virginia 23510   |   8 Hampton Roads Meeting Locations
Free Consultation Call or Text 24/7 757.455.0077
Virginia Injury Blog
Daylight Savings Leads to a Spike in Car Crashes

I focus on achieving favorable results with dedication & hard-work.- Griffin O'Hanlon

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Daylight Savings Leads to a Spike in Car Crashes

By Griff O'Hanlon, Portsmouth Personal Injury Lawyer

Daylight savings begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday when the clocks spring forward an hour. Although waking up an hour early may be a drag, the lighter nights usher in spring.

However, few people realize how dangerous daylight savings time can be on the roads. It could cost you more than an hour of sleep, and you have a greater chance of losing your life, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study on daylight savings.

More accidents are recorded under daylight savings

The research highlighted how fatal motor vehicle accidents spike the first six days after the clocks spring ahead in March.  The study, "Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes" was authored by Austin C. Smith. It noted that in the first six days of daylight saving time there were 302 deaths and a cost of a staggering $2.75 billion over a 10-year period.

Statistics highlighted a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the shift. While it’s hard to believe that one hour would make such a difference, the research suggested the single hour causes a significant disruption in sleep cycles.

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers who sleep just six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a wreck than people who sleep eight hours or more. We see particular problems with sleep deprivation in the trucking industry. Often serious accidents involving tractor trailers in Virginia occur early in the morning.

 Research suggests that sleeping less than 5 hours a night increases the risk of having a wreck four to five times. The AAA also finds more than 250,000 people fall asleep at the wheel, some for a just a microsecond. Just a few seconds of drowsiness can be the difference between life and death.

"When the clocks change — whether it is falling back or springing forward, peoples' sleep cycles are interrupted, and when sleep cycles are interrupted, they tend to be drowsy," stated Mary Maguire of AAA.

It’s interesting to note, a spike in accidents is also seen after the clocks spring back in the fall when drivers should benefit from an hour more sleep.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed there are more accidents after both the spring and fall changes. In the fall, the extra hour also appears to disrupt people’s sleep cycles makes them more drowsy.

There are certainly some questions about whether the clocks should be adjusted at all. Daylight Savings changes date to the Standard Time Act of 1918 when there was a need to cut back on coal use and energy during the war.

Be extra careful if you are driving on the roads next week and pull over and get a coffee if you feel drowsy. If you are injured due to the actions of a drowsy driver, call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


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.

View Full Bio
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.

View Full Bio
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.

View Full Bio
  • Recent Blogs When To Report a Virginia Boating Accident?

    Every summer the number of boating accidents in the waters off Hampton Roads, the James River, the Lynnhaven River or the Chesapeake Bay spikes. While… Read More »


    Read More
  • Download our FREE e-books

    At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we understand that the law is confusing. Learn about what to do after an accident. Explore our collection of FREE e-books.

    View Free E-Books
  • 2018 Scholarship Award

    Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.

    Learn More
Contact Us

Please fill out form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
8 Hampton Roads Meeting Locations

Use the map below to find the location closest to you

View more