Americans tend to either love or hate Daylight Savings Time (DST)–depending on the time of year it occurs. Established as a legal act in 1918 to preserve daylight and standard time for the continental U.S, DST occurs twice a year: in the spring and autumn. In 2017, Americans experienced the beginning of DST on March 13 as clocks sprung forth an hour, slightly cutting back their day. The end of DST occurred on November 6 as clocks fell back and extended the day another full hour. Personal angst is often only compounded by the fact that many believe that DST is responsible for extra nationwide dangers. But can this national occurrence cause a Michigan auto accident—and if so, why?
What’s the Problem with Daylight Savings Time?
The entire point of Daylight Savings Time (DST) is to extend or save daylight hours during the most active months and seasons of the year. Across the globe, 40% of nations use it to make better use of sunlight. And in the U.S, 48 states participate in the bi-annual event. Arizona, Hawaii, and various overseas territories are the exceptions to that national decision. DST tends to cause little stir in most lives other than requiring an extra shot of espresso or energy drink at the office for a couple days during autumn. But several nationwide statistics shed light on the darker side of DST. According to governmental studies, the Monday following either DST event continually averages a significant increase in car crashes and up to 17% more fatalities compared to other days during the season. Vehicle passengers and other drivers aren’t the only ones who need to be concerned about the death spike. In major residential and traffic centers such as New York City, up to 40% of pedestrian-related vehicular homicides But how can a single hour of time change cause such extreme upswings in traffic accidents and what can you do to avoid it on your end?
What Can You Do to Avoid a DST-Related Michigan Car Accident?
The easiest way to avoid DST-related danger is to not be taken by surprise. Plan for the time change by updating your schedule, calendars, and tech devices with notifications of the right dates and DST changeover times. The human body is incredibly sensitive to change, so make sure to schedule in plenty of sleep for the days before and after the time switch. A little common sense and preventative planning go a long way. Eat right and exercise to keep stress limited. Avoid alcohol and unnecessary medications if you’re going to be behind the wheel or near heavy traffic for any reason.
Avoid extra road-related activity if possible. If you must be on the road, pay extra attention, reduce speeds, avoid glare with protective eyewear, and abstain from any type of distracted driving. This includes eating and drinking in the car, carting multiple passengers, and of course, using mobile devices on the road. These few simple common-sense strategies should help you avoid a DST-related Michigan auto accident.
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