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How Daylight Savings Time Increases the Risk of Car Accidents in Wyoming

Photo of alarm clock

Twice a year, Americans change their clocks, setting them one hour ahead or turning them one hour back and gaining or losing an hour of sunlight. Once in November, and once in March, with 2022’s Daylight Savings Time approaching quickly—Sunday, March 13th. This March 2022, we will lose an hour to accommodate for more daylight in the evenings as we move into the summer. No matter how much you love the extra hour of daylight in the evening, losing an hour’s worth of sleep by having the alarm go off 60 minutes earlier than usual can be a frustration for many. More than this, though, studies show that the time change can actually increase the risk of car accidents, too. Here’s what you should know about how Daylight Savings Time (DST) increases the risk of car accidents in Wyoming—

Daylight Savings Time: The Statistics

According to an article in Business Insider, researchers estimate that the one-hour loss in sleep time can lead to sleep-deprived drivers. In fact, daylight savings-impacted sleep-deprived drivers may have resulted in additional 30 fatal accidents over a nine-year period. This number does not reflect the amount of non-fatal crashes. 

A scientific study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine came to a similar conclusion: sleep-deprived drivers are a hazard to themselves and others on the road. Researchers found that on the Monday following the spring shift to Daylight Savings Time, there was a significant increase in the number of accidents on the roadway. Interestingly, a similar trend in the uptick of accidents around Daylight Savings Time can be observed in the Fall when drivers gain an hour. Researchers believe that this can be explained by “the behavior adaptation anticipating the longer day on Sunday of the shift from DST in the Fall…suggesting an increase in late night (early Sunday morning) driving when traffic-related fatalities are high…” This means that whether making the change in March or November, the time change may increase the risks for drivers. 

How to Stay Safe This Daylight Savings

Even the most responsible of drivers can be severely affected by fatigue, and losing even one hour of sleep could be disruptive enough to impair your focus and concentration on the road. As you prepare for Daylight Savings Time, it’s important to think about how to stay safe when behind the wheel. Some tips include:

  • Go to bed earlier than normal so that you don’t have to forfeit that hour of sleep
  • Set your alarm back an hour so that you wake up at your “normal” time, still getting your regular number of hours of sleep
  • Consider alternative forms of transportation on the Monday following DST, such as a rideshare or bus
  • Pay attention to other drivers on the road—just because you’re feeling well-rested doesn’t mean everyone else is
  • Pay extra attention to save driving techniques, such as providing plenty of space between other vehicles, following the speed limit, putting distractions away, and driving defensively

Remember, we can’t control whether or not Daylight Savings Time will be implemented, but we can take other precautions to stay safe. It’s your responsibility to do what you need to do to safely operate your car. 

What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident 

If you’re involved in an accident, it’s important to know your rights and what steps to take to protect those rights. You should immediately check for injuries, pull your car over, check in with the other driver, and call the police. When the police arrive, make sure you get the officer’s badge number and name, and request a copy of the police report. Even if you don’t think that your injuries are serious—and especially if they are serious—you should head to the hospital to be assessed by a medical professional. Next, call your insurance company to provide notice of the accident.

If the car accident was the fault of the other driver, you have the right to pursue damages. Wyoming is a tort liability state, also called an at-fault state. This means that drivers are responsible for paying for the accidents that they cause. 

You have the right to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance after a crash. If the driver carries liability insurance, which is required under the law, this insurance should pay for your injuries. If you can’t reach a fair settlement or your claim is denied, you have the right to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. Attempting to resolve the claim first through medication is strongly recommended before bringing forth a lawsuit. 

How Our Lawyers Can Help

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyers at the office of Freeburg Law, LLC can provide representation throughout all steps of the claims process. Ways that we help you include:

  • Investigating your claim
  • Talking to eyewitnesses
  • Returning to the scene of the accident to gather evidence
  • Representing you in conversations with the insurance adjuster
  • Calculating your damages
  • Helping you to understand what your claim is worth and the value of your economic and noneconomic damages
  • Negotiating your settlement
  • Representing you during litigation
  • More

Our Wyoming car accident lawyers will be by your side to support you and ensure your best interests are protected throughout the process. 

Stay Safe for Daylight Savings Time This Year 
Daylight Savings Time is confusing for many, with some wondering why we still change the clocks at all. Whether or not you agree with it, the truth is that Daylight Savings Time is coming and this March, it will mean losing an hour of sleep. To reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident on the Monday following daylight savings, follow the tips above and do what you need to do to feel well-rested before operating a motor vehicle. At the law office of Freeburg Law, LLC, we can help if you’ve been in a crash. Reach out to our Wyoming car accident lawyers directly today to learn more about your rights following a crash and how our law firm can support you.

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