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Daylight Savings and Increased Car Accident Risks

Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerOn November 4, 2018, daylight savings time officially ends. With a proposition on the ballot in the upcoming elections to extend daylight savings practices year round, this could be the last time we set the clocks back. Either way, the change in seasons means it gets darker earlier and one side effect is an increased risk of car accidents and injuries.

Proposition 7 Would Make Daylight Savings Time a Permanent Fixture

To take advantage of extra daylight over the traditional growing season, we set our clocks ahead one hour in March each year. A new proposition on the ballot in November, sponsored by a San Jose Assemblyman, aims at avoiding the habit of setting the clocks back in the fall, making it daylight savings time year round.

Proposition 7 was sponsored by Kansen Chu of San Jose, who argued that the practice of switching times has become outdated. Opponents of the measure say that it is pointless and would put California at odds with the majority of other states. Voters will get the chance to register their opinions during elections later in the month. If Proposition 7 passes, it will then proceed to voting by elected officials.

How ‘Falling Back’ Creates Hazards for Drivers

There is one thing that is undeniable about the habit of ‘falling back’ during November each year - it results in the loss of an hour of sleep and causes it to get darker earlier. Both of these can have an impact on drivers, increasing the risk of car accidents and injuries.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), shorter days and fatigue increase the risk of drowsy driving, while driver vision is impaired once the sun goes down. Even after your body and sleep schedule adjust to the changes, decreased visibility creates real hazards on the road. To combat these effects, the NSC recommends the following tips:

  • Check your vehicle to make sure your headlights are cleaned and aimed correctly.
  • Dim your dashboard lights, which can create distractions when driving at night.
  • If you wear glasses to correct your vision, make sure they have anti-glare lenses.
  • Avoid looking directly into another vehicle’s headlights, which can cause momentary blindness.
  • Take your time in getting where you need to go and keep extra space between you and other drivers to compensate for slower reaction times.

If you are one of the many people who have ongoing problems with your night vision, consult with your family physician as well as an eye doctor. In some cases, your best bet may be to simply limit the amount of time you are out driving after dark.

Contact Us Today for Help

Car accidents can leave you suffering serious and potentially disabling injuries. At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we provide the legal representation you need to get compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. Reach out to our skilled San Jose car accident attorneys by calling 408-246-5500 and request a consultation today to see how we can help you.

 

Sources:

https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/night-driving

http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/7/

 

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