A recently released study shows that daylight savings time actually increases car accidents in the spring, when the clocks “spring forward” an hour. About 1.5 billion people live in countries that observe daylight savings time, and whether or not moving clocks forward an hour in the spring is a good idea has long been a subject of debate. Opponents of daylight savings time point to interrupted schedules and sleep, while proponents say it saves electricity and point out that the extra hour of daylight could be used to exercise.
A researcher just released a study in which he looked at data on fatal car crashes between 2002 and 2011 to see what happens immediately after people reset their clocks in the spring and fall. He compared the number of crashes that occurred just before and just after the time changes each year. He also compared crashes on dates that fell within daylight savings time in some years but not in others due to a change in policy.
The study found that fatal crashes increased by about 6 percent over the 6 days immediately after the clocks “spring forward” in the spring, but didn’t change in the fall. The researcher attributed the spike in crashes to lost sleep, and estimated that over 300 additional deaths occurred because of daylight savings time in the spring.
No matter when an accident occurs, an automobile accident victim has legal rights. An accident victim has the right to be compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.