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Daylight Savings Time Affect Car Crashes

Bovo Law Nov. 4, 2013

Multiple studies have found that there is a correlation between daylight savings time and car crashes.

An article by Jason Varughese and Richard P. Allen in the journal Sleep Medicine determined there was a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to DST, and there was also a significant increase in number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from DST.

The conclusions of the article included: “The sleep deprivation on the Monday following shift to DST in the spring results in a small increase in fatal accidents. The behavioral adaptation anticipating the longer day on Sunday of the shift from DST in the fall leads to an increased number of accidents suggesting an increase in late night (early Sunday morning) driving when traffic related fatalities are high possibly related to alcohol consumption and driving while sleepy.”

An earlier study by Dr. Stanley Coren, Ph.D. of the University of British Columbia found that there was a 17% spike in car crashes on the Mondays immediately after Daylight Saving Time starts.

Additionally, according to the National Sleep Foundation, each year drowsy drivers cause 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in property losses and lost productivity.

Here at Bovo Law, we caution you to watch out and be on extra alert as you drive during the DST time shifts in both the spring and in the fall. Additionally, watch out for your own drowsy driving, and make sure to get enough sleep.