Does anyone really like Daylight Saving Time? Besides the fact that parents everywhere hate it for messing with their kids’ schedules (not to mention losing an hour of their own sleep!), it’s responsible for many perplexing health-related issues as well. A 2016 study found that the overall rate for stroke was 8% higher in the two days after daylight saving time – 25% more likely with cancer victims, and 20% more likely with people over 65 (source).
Besides the alarming medical-related issues, daylight saving time also has a negative effect on driving safety. One hour’s change may seem like a minor disruption in our sleep cycles, but measurable changes in sleep pattern persist for up to five days after each time shift. This leads to the prediction that the spring shift, involving a loss of an hour’s sleep, might lead to an increased number of “microsleeps,” or lapses of attention, during daily activities and thus might cause an increase in the probability of traffic accidents. The additional hour of sleep gained in the fall might then lead conversely to a reduction in accident rates (source).
With the “spring forward” time change upon us, it’s a good time to review some basic driving safety tips.