Spring Forward! Does Daylight Savings Time Impact Driviers?

Did you remember to “spring forward?” Daylight savings time is now in effect, the time when we advance our clocks an hour to get an extra hour of daylight! Whether you welcome the later sunsets or hate losing that extra hour of sleep, it’s important to be aware of the time change and how it can impact your driving.

What is Daylight Savings Time?

Benjamin Franklin gets the credit for daylight savings time. In 1784, Franklin suggested millions of dollars would be saved on candles if people turned back their clocks in the spring to take advantage of the extra daylight.

The idea was mostly ignored until World War I. During wartime, the extra hour was incredibly beneficial, as it saved money on fuel. While it fell out of popularity in the interwar years, “War Time” came back again during World War II. When the war ended, President Franklin Roosevelt allowed individual states and areas to adopt their own daylight savings plan.

Obviously, this caused some confusion! With no national standard, transportation schedules were thrown into chaos. Congress eventually passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which officially stated that daylight savings began at 2:00 AM on the last Sunday in April and ended at 2:00 AM on the last Sunday in October.

Today, there are still some discrepancies. Hawaii doesn’t recognize daylight savings time, and the Navajo Nation in Arizona observes daylight savings, while the rest of the state does not. For the most part, though, the country finally has the same idea about daylight savings time.

How Daylight Savings Time Impacts Driving

Once the clocks change, it means that more people find themselves driving to work or school in the dark in the mornings. Since darkness decreases visibility, this can make the roads more dangerous. In the darkness, a driver might not see an upcoming obstacle, like a red light, a pedestrian, or debris in the road. When paired with distracted or reckless driving, like speeding or texting behind the wheel, driving in the darkness can be particularly dangerous.

Since the time change can be disorienting and throw off our sleep schedules, drivers might also be more likely to experience drowsy driving. When drivers are tired, they might be less alert and have a slowed reaction time, leading to an increased risk of accidents. In extreme cases, a fatigued driver might even fall asleep while driving, which puts them and other drivers at serious risk.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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