Daylight Savings Warning for Truckers March 8, 2019
Daylight savings time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Given the risks associated with daylight savings time, such as increased fatal vehicle crashes, many argue that it has outlived its purpose.
What is the Purpose of Daylight Savings Time?
Daylight savings time was initially implemented to save energy during World War I, though recent research has shown that it is not an effective energy-conserving measure. In addition to not saving energy as originally intended, daylight savings time is consistently a factor in fatal vehicle crashes. According to a study published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the transition to daylight savings time contributes to more than 30 deaths and costs approximately $275 million a year.
The Cost of Sleep Deprivation
Truckers, who are already at risk for drowsy driving accidents, are more likely to be involved in a fatal truck crash during daylight savings time. Losing just one hour of sleep increases the probability of being in a drowsy driving crash by 46 percent, according to the American Economic Journal study.
Other research suggests that there is a significant increase in fatal accidents on the Monday following the transition to daylight savings time. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University studied over two decades of fatal car crash data, which revealed that there was an average of 83.5 deadly accidents on “spring forward Monday”, whereas on a typical Monday, there was an average of 78.2 deadly accidents.
Drowsy Driving is Dangerous
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 100,000 accidents per year are caused by drowsy driving. Truckers are especially at risk for drowsy driving accidents given their work schedules, which may require them to be on the road for up to 11 hours a day.
According to a AAA study, drowsy driving is just as risky as drunk driving. Lack of sleep can negatively affect driving performance or even cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. Many commercial truckers also suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that prevents them from getting adequate sleep due to interrupted breathing. Although there are federal regulations in place that mandate rest periods, many truckers still remain under pressure to meet deadlines and may therefore continue driving, even when they feel tired.
Truckers at Increased Risk for Drowsy Driving Accidents During Daylight Savings Time
Truckers who lose an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time are more likely to be involved in an accident. According to the AAA study, drivers who only get five to six hours of sleep instead of the recommended seven to eight are more than twice as likely to be involved in an accident. Truckers should therefore protect themselves during daylight savings time by ensuring that they get adequate rest before beginning long-distance trips and taking regular rest breaks while on the road.
Philadelphia Work Accident Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Truckers Obtain Compensation for Crash Injuries
If you were injured in a trucking accident, contact a Philadelphia work accident lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We proudly represent truckers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Our experienced attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you need, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
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