Car accidents spiked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday morning, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. According to CBS, pushing the clocks forward throws off internal body clocks, deprives Americans of much-needed sleep, and increases the likelihood of fatal auto accidents. “It turns out Monday after daylight saving time is one of the deadliest days on the road,” former New York City transportation commissioner, “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, says.
“I saw a pattern that would occur typically on the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time would be put into effect. And I saw a lot of early-morning rush hour crashes,” Schwartz continued. Car crash risks spiked by at least six percent Monday and Tuesday morning, USA Today adds. Truckers are the most likely to get in accidents owing to Daylight Savings Time. The main cause, Schwartz suggests, is decreased reaction time — owing to losing an hour of sleep.
Damaging effects continue even after Americans get to work. Christopher Barnes, a professor at the University of Washington, says his research reveals an increase in workplace injuries and a notable lack of productivity (also following the clocks’ shift). On the other hand, Daylight Savings Times may offer considerable benefits, psychologist Stanley Coren argues. Coren suggests that drivers are much less likely to get into accidents in the coming months — thanks to another hour of daylight and increased visibility.
Experts add, moreover, that there are several, relatively simple ways to combat negative effects in years to come. “Go to bed an hour earlier,” Cohen tells USA Today. ABC adds that Americans can avoid ill-effects by spending some time outside in the morning. Natural light — like sunlight — promotes wakefulness and will help your body adjust to the shift. Drivers short on time can also drive carefully and consider an extra cup of coffee in the morning.