In a little more than a week’s time, your life will become more dangerous. On Monday, November 6, daylight savings time (DST) will kick in. We will all set our clocks back an hour, which will give us a much-needed hour of sleep.
It might seem like a trivial gain, but research says otherwise. A recent study determined that after DST begins, assaults increase by three percent. Researchers said they began their study with the working assumption that crime, motor vehicle crashes, suicides and workplace injuries would all decrease in the fall with the hour of added sleep.
In fact, they said, assaults rise three percent in the fall with the added hour of sleep and drop by a corresponding three percent in spring when we all lose an hour. Researchers said they are not exactly sure why human behavior is the opposite of what was expected.
Some readers might recall a related study in 2014 that looked at whether or not DST changes the frequency of car crashes. The study demonstrated “that DST imposes high social costs on Americans, specifically, an increase in fatal automobile crashes.” The reallocation of ambient light from morning to evening disrupts sleep schedules, researchers said, increasing crash risk.
Titled “Spring Forward at Your Own Risk: Daylight Saving Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes,” the study showed that over a 10-year period, the first six days of DST will result in about 300 additional traffic deaths, “underscoring the huge costs of even minor disruptions to sleep schedules.”
All of this is good to keep in mind as we approach the time change and our daily commutes around Seattle.
An attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation can help you pursue justice and compensation.