Drivers May Experience A “Mini Jet-Lag” During Daylight Savings
The effect that daylight savings time (DST) has on your body and overall driving ability has been hotly debated over the last decade. In recent years, research published in the journal Current Biology reported that there is often a 6% increase in fatal car accidents in the two weeks after we “spring forward.” While there are several reasons for this, the effect the change has on sleep is the biggest implication.
Sleep quality and patterns are shifted when there seems to be more or less hours in the day. During daylight savings time, it may take some individuals up to two weeks to fully adjust to the change. This has been referred to as a “mini jet lag” by the research team at the University of Colorado-Boulder since it has a similar effect as crossing time zones.
Furthermore, other studies concluded that this time period can cause circadian misalignment, which means that your sleep-wake cycle is inhibited by various circumstances, like changes in light. In general, melatonin onset occurs as lights dim, so having days be lighter for longer can affect how long it takes for you to fall asleep.
What is being done about this?
Many states have been working to combat this on both a local and national level by drafting legislation to permanently have daylight savings time year-round. Known as the “Sunshine Protection Act,” this bill was signed by the Mississippi governor on March 17th, 2021, and must be approved by Congress to be enacted. Should this be passed in the next legislative session, it could mean that 2022 will be the last year that we “spring forward.”
Although drowsy driving following DST is not unique to Mississippi, our attorneys encourage safe driving practices year-round. Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman PLLC is dedicated to holding negligent drivers accountable for endangering the roadways. If you need legal assistance following a crash with a drowsy driver, call (662) 222-0597 to schedule a free consultation today.