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Call to Scrap Daylight Savings Time for Role in Causing Accidents

Daylight savings time has ended in Georgia which has many people bemoaning about the shorter days.  However, researchers have found that the darker morning hours during the daylight savings period may actually do more harm than good, especially for people on the road.  Debates are rising about the effectiveness of this measure in keeping people rested and safe.

In Georgia, daylight savings time kicked off on March 14, 2021 and ended on November 7, 2021.  Most states that have the measure in place are no longer on daylight savings time as of the last week of November. Debates are now rising about the need for daylight savings time in the first place.

The Department of Transportation says that daylight savings time helps reduce the risk of traffic accidents, and has a number of other benefits including the prevention of crime. Not all experts agree, however. There is concern that daylight savings time which results in the elimination of an extra hour of sleep for many Georgians simply increases their risk of drowsiness and fatigue. Both of these are factors that are very often cited in car crashes.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that daylight savings time should be eliminated from the American annual calendar altogether and a standard time should be adopted.  Sleep experts says that the loss of an hour as a result of daylight savings time is linked to sleepiness, fatigue and other resultant consequences. For instance, drowsiness can cause lack of concentration and lack of attention. Lack of sleep can cause an inability to focus on the task at hand, and can be very dangerous when the drowsy person is performing a task that requires concentration, like operating machinery or driving a car. Impulsiveness increases when a person is working under a lack of sleep. Judgment and reasoning can be impacted, and this can be lethal behind the wheel when a person is required to make instant judgments.

The Department of Transportation claims that daylight savings time actually helps prevent accidents, but the data suggests that the opposite is true. In fact, accident rates soon after the change tend to spike alarmingly in states like Georgia that implement daylight savings time. In 2020, a study published in Current Biology actually found a 6 percent increase in accidents immediately after the transition. The lack of morning light is a major factor in this spike. Light can be crucial because it  suppresses the body’s natural sleep hormones. The lack of light messes with the circadian rhythm causing drowsiness.

Drowsy driving is linked to a number of accidents every year. A person driving while he is sleepy or fatigued is likely to face increased accident risks while driving.  Drowsy driving accidents are typically devastating accidents because they can involve high speeds and loss of control of the vehicle, resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities. For example, wrong way driving crashes, some of the most devastating accidents, are often linked to a drowsy driver who missed a sign as a result of his mental state and ended up on the wrong way.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowsy driving accident, talk to an Atlanta  car accident attorney at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers about your legal options to a claim for damages.

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