Daylight saving time is a topic on which everyone has an opinion. There are many sides to the debate. Some individuals love the extra hour of daylight in the evenings during the summer months, while others despise losing an hour of sleep. At Stillman & Friedland, we want to make sure you know the impact of the time change on public safety. Continue reading to learn more about how Tennessee’s Daylight Saving Time affects road accidents.
Tennessee Daylight Saving Time 2022
This year, daylight saving began on Sunday, March 13, at 2:00 a.m. and will continue until Sunday, November 6, 2022. On Sunday, March 13, at 2:00 a.m., the clocks advanced an hour, causing many people to lose an hour of sleep.
The sun now rises an hour later, giving early risers more time in the dark. On the bright side, the sun now sets an hour later in the evening. But, aside from the extra sunlight and delayed sleep, how does this affect us?
The Initial Effect of Daylight Savings Increases Car Accidents
According to data collected by the University of Colorado at Boulder, car accidents increased by 6% in the week following the daylight saving time change. Furthermore, the study discovered that the farther west a person lives in their respective time zone, the danger of being involved in a fatal crash increases the week after the time change.
Scientists believe that advancing the clocks—even by an hour—can upset certain people’s circadian rhythms. This results in poor focus and cognitive abilities. It can take some people’s brains up to a week to acclimate to the shift. Even a minor lapse in judgment might result in a fatal car accident.
Overall, Daylight Saving Time Decreases Car Accidents
However, despite the initial spike in deadly car wrecks in the first week of daylight saving time, overall, Daylight Saving Time appears to decrease the total number of traffic injuries. During Daylight Saving Time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.
One study published in the National Library of Medicine predicted that if Daylight Saving Time was made permanent throughout the year, motor vehicle occupant fatalities would decrease by 3%.
Tennessee passed legislation in 2019 that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round. However, the state law only goes into effect if Congress passes a federal law allowing states to observe daylight saving time year-round. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states have passed similar legislation.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a death or severe injury resulting from a negligent driver, contact our Nashville-based office at 615-244-2111 for a free and confidential consultation, and we will assist you. Our law firm works on a contingency basis, so there is no fee unless a settlement or jury verdict award is reached on your behalf.
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