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Risk of Personal Injury, Death Rises with Daylight Saving Time

Joanow Legal Group March 10, 2020

There are constant dangers on the road in Pennsylvania and across the nation. From drunk drivers to distracted drivers to recklessness, it may seem like an accident can occur without warning and cause serious personal injury and death. Other factors can lead to a collision. Changing the clocks for Daylight Saving Time is one that is often understated. Being vigilant about this potential problem is imperative. After an accident has occurred, it may be wise to consider a legal filing for compensation.

The time change for spring is perceived as beneficial in many ways, the most prominent of which being the “extra” hour of daylight for the warmer months. Still, adapting can be difficult and raises the chance of an auto accident. Depending on the time of day people are driving, there can be various difficulties. Drowsy driving does not necessarily mean a person is falling asleep at the wheel. It can mean having slowed reactions and the need to visually adjust to a different amount of light. This can place drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians in jeopardy.

Drowsy driving is a persistent consideration. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, around 10% of auto accidents stem from a drowsy driver. It also found that 96% of drivers view drowsy driving as a threat, but 27% admit to driving when their eyes were closing involuntarily. In Pennsylvania, there were more than 2,500 auto accidents and 15 deaths in 2018 because of a drowsy driver. Drivers who lack one or two hours of regular sleep have double the chance of a collision.

The landscape is also an issue. With Daylight Saving, a person who is accustomed to the location of the sun and when it gets dark will need to alter their perception. Pedestrians have a greater propensity to being a victim at these times. Overall, there has been a rise in pedestrian deaths in the 10 biggest cities in the U.S. with 655 people dying in 2018 vs. 613 in 2017. Philadelphia had a rise of 11% in that time-frame.

Medical expenses, lost income and long-term personal problems can result from injuries in an auto accident. If there is the loss of a loved one, these are exacerbated. A key for a legal filing is a full investigation. When there has been a crash and personal injury or death, legal advice can be critical. A law firm experienced in auto accidents may be able to help.