Study: Fatal crashes increase after Daylight Saving Time

Study: Fatal crashes increase after Daylight Saving Time

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Daylight Saving Time has us setting our clocks ahead one hour so we can enjoy an extra hour of daylight during the spring and summer.

But the time change can have huge impacts: We lose an hour of sleep.

Researchers say that causes a significant disruption in our sleep cycles, and that lack of sleep leads to drowsy driving.

Sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of crashing.

A study done by Austin C. Smith at the University of Colorado Boulder found an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents within the first six days after the time change.

They looked at records from the Fatal Accident Reporting System and found that there has been as much as a 17 percent increase in fatal accidents on the Monday after the daylight savings time goes into effect.

Of the nearly 71 percent of people who drive to work, 30 percent reported driving when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.

An AAA Foundation study reported that most accidents occur between the hours of midnight to 2 a.m.; 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

They also reported that 46 percent of people have dozed off behind the wheel at least once in their lifetime.

Traffic experts suggest that you try to get plenty of sleep, at least seven hours. If you are tired, pull over and take a nap-  even on a work day - 15 minutes before you hit the road.

If you are taking a long trip, travel during times you are normally awake, don't drive all the way through.

Make sure you take breaks and drink plenty of caffeinated drinks.
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