Millions of Chicagoans greatly look forward to daylight savings time (DST). The extra hour of sunlight fuels blissful dreams of spring and summer days to come. On March 8, 2020, most Americans will “spring forward” and set their clocks ahead by one hour. While that will make the daytime seem longer, it can also lead to Chicago daylight savings accidents.
DST means losing an hour of sleep. This may sound insignificant, but the biological repercussions can be tremendous. Losing one hour of sleep can have significant effects on the mind and body for days or even weeks after the time change. Here are five reasons why losing one hour of sleep can lead to a lethal car accident.
1- Fatigued and Drowsy Driving
People are often tired the week of DST—especially those that have to wake up before sunrise for work. In addition to losing one hour of sleep, their bodies must acclimate to waking up while it’s still relatively dark. Being tired can cause fatigued and drowsy driving, which can lead to Chicago daylight savings accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three people already do not get enough sleep. Immediately following the change to DST, that number goes up, as does the number of drowsy and fatigued drivers on the road.
2- Distracted Driving
Losing one hour of sleep can affect the mind as well as the body. Being in a state of mind that’s less than sharp can lead to a distracted driving accident. Instead of being focused on the road and your immediate surroundings, a driver’s mind may wander and become susceptible to distraction.
Losing focus while driving, even for a few seconds, can have deadly consequences. Due to the sudden change, Chicago roads will be filled with hundreds, possibly thousands, of distracted drivers.
3- Heart Attack and Stroke
Many people are surprised to learn that losing one hour of sleep can lead to a heart attack or stroke. That small loss of sleep can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, increase stress, and raise blood pressure.
These factors can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. A study posted in 2014 by BMJ Journals concluded that instances of heart attacks rise 24% on the Monday following DST time changes. People that have a heart attack or stroke while driving often lose control of their vehicle. This can lead to severe Chicago daylight savings accidents, especially on highways.
Depression is a serious mental illness that sometimes goes undetected and untreated. Losing one hour of sleep can exacerbate depression. This can lead to erratic driving. In some cases, depressed people take unnecessary risks, including reckless driving.
In other cases, depressed drivers are unable to pay sufficient attention and cannot concentrate on the road. Heavy traffic can cause depressed drivers to suffer anxiety or panic attacks on the road. Any of these behaviors could lead to catastrophic Chicago daylight savings accidents.
5- Teens are Especially Susceptible to DST
While many teenage drivers are skilled and practice excellent safety habits, some are not. No matter the case, all teenage drivers are relatively inexperienced. Additionally, adolescents are more susceptible to the effects of the DST change than adults, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The lack of experience combined with a “decline in vigilance and cognitive function” increases the chances of Chicago daylight savings accidents involving teenagers during the week of the time change.
Contact Our Chicago Daylight Savings Accidents Lawyers
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourages you to get sufficient sleep when DST starts. Please encourage your family and friends as well. Making sure you get plenty of sleep is an easy way to avoid a car or motorcycle accident when DST starts.
However, we recognize that some accidents are unavoidable, simply because there will be a higher number of drowsy, fatigued, and distracted drivers on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident related to daylight savings time, contact us for immediate assistance.
You can contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free consultation at 708-222-2222. We’re also available through the Internet via LiveChat and secure online form. For compassionate care and effective representation, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today.