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A drunk driving accident can occur when a person has been drinking alcohol at a bar or restaurant and is then later involved in a car accident.
A person might have some wine or beer with their dinner or perhaps a few drinks at a local bar after work.
If that person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and then causes an accident in which somebody suffers injuries, the owner of the restaurant or bar that served the alcohol could be held legally responsible.
An individual injured in an accident while driving under the influence might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the establishment to receive financial compensation for damages. This form of liability involves a set of laws oftentimes referred to as dram shop laws.
What are dram shop laws?
While the term dram is not as common as it once was, this word is slang for an alcoholic beverage. Therefore, a dram shop is an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. Dram shop laws exist in all states across the U.S., and these laws give rise to lawsuits involving drunk drivers who purchased alcohol at a bar or restaurant (a dram shop).
For anyone who is considering filing a lawsuit, it is important to know how the specific dram shop laws work in the state where the accident occurred because the laws vary from state to state.
A dram shop lawsuit is a claim against a restaurant, bar, or any other establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. A dram shop lawsuit alleges that the restaurant or bar served alcohol to a person who then caused a drunk driving accident, and therefore that the bar or restaurant is responsible for the injuries that arose out of the alcohol-involved car crash.
In order to win a dram shop lawsuit, a plaintiff typically will need to be able to prove that the drunk driver became intoxicated from being over-served alcoholic beverages at the restaurant or bar.
In general, most states recognize two different types of dram shop claims:
What are first-party dram shop claims?
First-party dram shop claims are those in which the injured party is the same person that consumed the alcoholic beverage. A person that sustains injuries to himself in a drunk driving collision may want to bring a lawsuit against the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol.
Many states do not permit these types of first-party dram shop claims because the person involved in the accident was a contributory factor involved in the accident.
In other words, the person that drank too much alcohol played a role in bringing about the accident and is therefore barred from bringing a lawsuit.
It is only possible for a person to file a first-party dram shop claim if the contributory negligence of the patron is minimal and where state law permits.
What are third-party dram shop claims?
A third-party dram shop lawsuit is brought when a business establishment serves alcohol to a person that causes an injury to an unrelated third party. The business establishment is responsible for the injuries to any third parties that result from the over-serving of a customer.
The injured third party can bring a valid claim against the business establishment even though that person has no direct relationship with the establishment. Because of the indirect correlation of being injured in a car accident that occurred as a result of the establishment’s customer being over-served alcohol, the injured third party can bring a lawsuit against the establishment.
How can you prove liability in a dram shop lawsuit?
The standard of proof required to win a dram shop lawsuit depends upon the state in which a plaintiff is filing a claim.
Some states require plaintiffs to prove intentional conduct, while other states require a plaintiff to prove that the bar or restaurant was simply reckless in serving alcohol to the customer that caused the drunk driving crash.
In some states, a plaintiff will only need to be able to show that the bar or restaurant was negligent. The standard of proof varies from state to state. In states that do permit first-party claims, the plaintiff will almost always need to prove that the establishment acted in a reckless manner — negligence behavior is usually not enough.
In a case where a plaintiff must only prove negligence, the plaintiff typically will need to be able to provide evidence that shows the server or bartender knew that the customer was intoxicated and should have stopped serving that person.
For most negligence claims, a plaintiff will only need to be able to prove that a reasonable person in the same or a similar situation would have stopped serving the customer. In states that require the plaintiff to prove that the bar or restaurant was reckless, however, the plaintiff will need to provide additional evidence.
To prove that a bar or restaurant server was reckless, the plaintiff usually will need to prove that the establishment over-served alcohol to the customer and knew, or should have known, that the act was unreasonably dangerous or risky to the safety of either the patron or other innocent third parties.
If a person has questions about filing a dram shop lawsuit, they should get in touch with an experienced accident lawyer in their state. An attorney that specializes in dram shop law cases can review the specific state statute in order to assess the viability of the claim.
No matter what happens in a dram shop lawsuit, drivers should know that a DUI or drunk driving accident are factors that raise insurance rates.
David Reischer, Esq. is a licensed car accident attorney with over 15 years of legal experience and the Founder and CEO of LegalAdvice.com
You love it or hate it, that alarm clock going off an hour early or late, and you think, “Who could have come up with this cursed or blessed idea?” It wrecks and helps a lot of things, from health to the economy, but you might be wondering if it affects your driving too.
We understand and get it—switches in time can be dangerous, and that may mean extra fatal crashes on the road. For that reason, we’ve put together the 10 worst states for the daylight saving time switch, when it comes to fatal car crashes.
Is your state on the list? Let’s find out.
10 Worst States for Daylight Saving Time
You might be wondering immediately who those states are—"Let’s get to it," you might say. But first, we’re going to cover just a little bit of the methodology so that you know how we came to these worst 10 states. And the answer is that it’s both simple and complicated.
For this research study, we looked at the fatal crash data for all states from 2013 to 2018. Then we isolated each day where there was a daylight saving time switch. From there, we calculated three statistics that were used in each ranking.
Percentage share change from your average day versus the DST switches
Percentage of a state’s fatal crashes that occurred on DST switches
Fatal crashes per licensed driver on DST switches
Each state was assigned a ranking between 1-50 for each category. The ranks were then summed, with the combined scores indicating the total ranking. The lower the number, the worse the state. Meaning ‘1’ would be the worst state, with ‘10’ the 10th worst.
Okay, the explanation of the math is over. Let’s rock and roll.
#10 – Minnesota
The North Star State starts off our ranking, coming in at number 10 on this list. While it is interesting to note that Minnesotan drivers are generally ranked as some of the best drivers in the country, they are not as good when it comes to driving during DST switches. They clock in with two scores in the worst 12 of all states and one score near the middle of the pack. What were they?
Let’s take them one by one. Minnesota ranked 12th in percent share change, at +0.3 percent. Percentage share change seems like a complicated statistic, but it is slightly simple. Essentially, for the average day between 2013 and 2018, Minnesota had a 1.1 percent share of the overall fatal crashes for all states. On DST switches, that number jumped to 1.4 percent. Hence, the 0.3 percent increase.
Now, while Minnesota had a small jump in their percentage share compared to other states, its percentage of overall fatal crashes on DST switches was more telling. From 2013 to 2018, 0.8 percent of Minnesota’s fatal crashes fell on a DST switch. That was good for 7th-worst in the country overall, with that 0.8 percent being 16 fatal crashes out of a total of 2,103.
Finally, there were fatal crashes per licensed driver. For this statistic, we cross-referenced the Federal Highway Administration licensed driver information with the number of fatal crashes for each state. Minnesota comes in at a not-so-bad 18th, with a +0.5 percent. This means they were +0.5 percent above the mean for all states. Kudos to Minnesota on that one. With all that said, what about the outliers and other information?
Minnesota had 16 fatal crashes on DST switch days, with 11 coming in November and five coming in March. This is our first bit of information that indicates November might be a more dangerous day when it comes to DST switches. The North Star State has three days with three fatal crashes, two of them coming in November and one in March. Unfortunately, more fatal crashes occurred in the last three years (2016-2018) than in the first three (2013-2015).
As the 10th worst state in America for the daylight saving time switch, Minnesota had a higher percentage of its fatal crashes occurring on those days than 43 other states and Washington, D.C. More of its DST switch crashes happen during November, and the number of its crashes grew as time went on.
Minnesota lawmakers are not happy with this issue, attempting to pass a law in early March 2020 that would abolish daylight saving time. Although it might pass, it is unlikely that Congress will sign off on it, having already declined signing passed bills from other states.
In this video, State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer talks about her bill that would make daylight saving time permanent, essentially ending the back and forth we do of turning our clocks forward in the spring and backward in the fall.
The video was posted just three weeks ago, with Kiffmeyer talking about the effects of DST on health (such as heart attacks), car crashes, and pets. All of these are serious, including car crashes that result in significant injuries or nightmare scenarios.
#9 – Nebraska
The Cornhusker State, which has some of the lowest insurance rates in the country, comes in at number 9 on this list, with two ratings that are not-so-good and one that is somewhere between horrible and medium-grade, like a poorly cut piece of pork tenderloin. What are those ranks?
Its best rating is percentage share change. For an average day in America, Nebraska held a 0.6 percent share of the total fatal crashes. For a daylight saving time switch, that percentage share rose just 0.1 for 0.7.
Its worst was the percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch. There, it ranked 8th, with 0.7 percent of its total fatal crashes between 2013 and 2018 occurring on a DST switch. That amounted to nine fatal crashes out of 1,216 fatal crashes.
Why the low number of total fatal crashes for a state ranking number 8 on this list? It’s simple: the population. Nebraska has a population of around 2 million, ranking it number 38 in the country, according to the World Population Review.
But its drivers have a problem during DST switches. It ranked 12th in the number of fatal crashes during DST switches compared to the number of licensed drivers. In fact, its fatal crashes to licensed drivers ratio was 28.1 percent above the average. This also goes to show how spread out the states are when it comes to fatal crashes per licensed driver.
Nebraska is the 9th worst state in the nation during the DST switch not because its fatal crashes are high, but because based on its population proportion, it is more dangerous than 41 other states and Washington, D.C.
Of Nebraska’s nine fatal crashes during DST switches, six came during November and three during March. Unlike Minnesota, the majority of Nebraska’s fatal crashes occurred during the first half of this study, from 2013 to 2015 rather than 2016 to 2018.
As in Minnesota, lawmakers are considering eliminating daylight saving time. State Senator Tom Briese of Albion said when he proposed the bill:
“As a farmer myself, I can tell you we are as sick and tired of changing our clocks twice a year as everyone else.”
Not everyone is happy. A statewide broadcasting association said that eliminating DST would create chaos for broadcasters such as radio and television companies across the country. It is certainly a controversial subject with many angles, unlike, say, the very simple nature of an Original COPO Camaro failing in Florida.
#8 – Texas
What do you think of when you imagine the Lone Star State? Probably boots, cowboy hats, and some of the better barbecue in the country. What you probably don't imagine? Bad driving on DST switches. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie: Texas is the 8th worst state in the nation when it comes to driving on DST switches.
It falls into the bottom seven in two categories, and its 3rd ranking is a bit like three-days leftover barbecue: probably not edible, though you can always try to make it presentable.
Texas has our first bottom five entry in percent share change. While, on an average day, Texas had a 10 percent share of total fatal crashes for all states, for days on DST switches, Texas had an 11 percent share. When it came to the percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch, Texas wasn’t horrible, placing in a tie for 16th. Of its 19,511 fatal crashes between 2013 and 2018, 126 came during a DST switch. That means that 0.7 percent of its fatal crashes came during a DST switch.
Still, it plummeted when it came to fatal crashes per licensed driver, coming in at 7th. Its average fatal crashes per licensed driver were 54 percent higher than the mean for all states.
Texas ranks 8th worst in the nation for daylight saving time switches because of two factors: its percentage share of the total fatal crashes across America grows during DST switches and its average fatal crashes per licensed driver are 54 percent higher than for all states for those days.
Unlike Minnesota and Nebraska, Texas had more trouble with the March switches than the November switches, with March fatal crashes totaling 65 and November fatal crashes totaling 61. But, like Minnesota, most of its fatal crashes on DST switches occurred after 2015.
As the Texas Tribune notes, some Texas lawmakers have been trying to abolish daylight saving time for years, only to be rebutted by other lawmakers. While some say DST is antiquated and harms health, while others think of the opportunity an extra hour of sunlight offers during the summer.
What's one of the sticking points? It’s a little unusual: Texas has more than one time zone. This means that Texas would have to have a unified “Texas time” which lawmakers seem to can’t agree upon. Of course, it would all have to be signed off by Congress. For more, we turn to local news station KXAN (jump to 10:52 in the video).
In this video, KXAN analyzes the issue of DST, saying that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to end daylight saving time. One of the politicians believes it's outdated, saying there are no good reasons to keep it around.
Like other politicians, it is mentioned that daylight saving time is a safety concern, with people having more fatal car crashes. This is due to the lack of sleep often seen in the March DST switch.
#7 – Idaho
Who comes in number 7 on this list? The Gem State (Idaho), and it may come as a surprise, given its low population. What it comes in with is a little shocking as well: While its rankings are fairly spread out, it's our first state to have a bottom three ranking. What is it? Let's find out.
Like Nebraska before it, Idaho had a 0.6 percent share of the fatal crashes for all states on an average day between 2013 and 2018. That percentage share rose to 0.7 percent during DST switches.
For percentage of its overall fatal crashes during a DST switch, Idaho ranked 9th at 0.7 percent. Of its 1,241 total fatal crashes between 2013 and 2018, nine came on days during a DST switch. That percentage was worse than 41 other states and Washington, D.C. What kills Idaho? It’s our last category—fatal crashes per licensed driver.
It ranks 3rd, with the ratio between its fatal crashes on DST switches compared to its licensed drivers 72 percent above the mean for all states.
That’s a bit like a moldy potato lumped in with some bad, but not terrible russets. When breaking down the statistics, the number of fatal crashes is fairly split between March DSTs and November DSTs. Finally, the majority of fatal crashes during DST switches in Idaho happen during the first half of this study (2013 - 2015) compared to the back half (2016 - 2018).
Idaho is the 7th worst state in the country for DST switches because a higher percentage of its crashes happen on those days, and that more licensed drivers are involved in those crashes than typical.
If you live in Idaho and want to do away with DST, there’s both hope and a little bit of discouragement. State Senator Christy Zito has pushed legislation ending it the past two years, though it has stalled in the Idaho House of Representatives both times.
#6 – Florida
The Sunshine State comes in at 6th on this list, adding to its reputation as a vacation getaway with pristine white beaches and amusement parks with a rather dubious distinction: one of the worst states to drive in during a daylight saving switch. In our three categories, it ranked no better than a tie for 13th and no worse than a solo 3rd spot.
Percentage share change was its worst score at 3rd. How bad was Florida? On an average day between 2013 and 2018, it had an 8.2 percent share of the overall fatal crashes for all states. On days with DST switches, it had a 9.1 percent share.
While this certainly has something to do with the size of its population, the other statistics balance that out. It ranked in a tie for 13th in the percentage of its fatal crashes on DST switches. Of its 16,033 fatal crashes, 0.7 percent came on days with DST switches, similar to Texas and Nebraska.
It struggled with fatal crashes per licensed driver, dropping back into the bottom 10. Its average fatal crashes per licensed driver were a full 46.1 percent above the mean. This shows that while its percentage share change may be affected slightly by population, its drivers are still very, very bad on DST switches.
Florida is the 6th-worst state for DST switches because it had a much higher jump in percentage share for DST switch days when compared to the average day. Its drivers were also much poorer on DST switches, with them having a higher fatal crash rate compared to 47 other states and the District of Columbia.
Florida, like Texas, is one of the most populous states and as such has quite a few more fatal crashes than some of the lesser populated states on this list. From 2013 to 2018, there were 107 fatal crashes during DST switches in the Sunshine State.
Most of those occurred after 2015, with fatal crashes between 2016 and 2018 amounting to 63. Fatal crashes between 2013 and 2018 amounted to 44. Florida also represents the back and forth nature we’re seeing in the bottom 10 states when it comes to fatal crashes in November and March.
In the Novembers between 2013 and 2018, there were a total of 45 fatal crashes. In March, that number jumped to 62. There are qualitative differences between November DST switches and March DST switches, as we’ll see later in the section detailing the fatal crashes between those two days.
Florida lawmakers, of course, may have known about Florida’s poor driving performance on DST switches all along, as they voted in 2018 to make daylight saving time permanent, meaning no time change. As we’ve seen, Congress still would need to sign the bill, which it hasn’t.
Said U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan in 2019:
“We need to end this antiquated practice. There are enormous health and economic benefits to making daylight saving time permanent.”
Other Florida politicians at the national level have also been receptive making daylight saving time permanent, such as former presidential candidate Marco Rubio introducing a bill in committee for the Senate.
NBC2 News covers this issue in the video, citing a Florida politician that sponsored a bill in the legislature that was later signed by the governor. But the news company notes that the bill needs to be signed off by Congress.
Many people in the video also say that daylight saving time isn't a very good thing, although some Floridians oppose the elimination of daylight saving time because it would leave the morning commute for children in darkness. There are all sorts of dangers with that, including the well-known acts of god that damage cars.
#5 – Alabama
The Heart of Dixie comes in at 5th on this list, with no truly egregious scores compared to previous states on this list, but an overall showing of very, very bad.
How ugly was it for Alabama? All three of its scores are in the bottom 10, a first for any state on this list. What were they? Let's take a stroll through some magnolia trees and take a look. Let's hope this stroll is not during a DST switch.
Its second-worst category was percentage share change, with a rank of 9th. On an average day from 2013 to 2018, Alabama had a 2.6 percent share of all fatal crashes for all states. On days with DST switches, that percentage share was 3.1.
In its best category, it didn’t fare much better. It came in 10th for percentage of overall fatal crashes on a DST switch with 0.7 percent of its fatal crashes happening on a DST switch. This puts it roughly in line with some of the states we’ve already mentioned, including Florida, Texas, and Nebraska.
Alabama's worst category puts it in the bottom five for that category. It ranked 5th in fatal crashes per licensed driver with its average fatal crashes per licensed driver at 58.9 percent above the mean.
Alabama is 5th in the worst states for DST switches because it has poor scores for all three categories, including a bottom five for fatal crashes per licensed driver. This means that Alabama’s drivers might have much more trouble than typical drivers in other states in adjusting to the DST switch.
The Heart of Dixie had a total of 36 fatal crashes on DST switches that were evenly split between our two subcategories for this section. There were 18 fatal crashes on DST switches between 2013 and 2015, with the same number for DST switches between 2016 to 2018.
According to the World Population Review, Alabama is 24th in population in 2020, which places it right in the middle of all states. It makes sense, then, that its overall fatal crashes on DST switches would be right in the middle of less populated states such as Nebraska and highly populated states such as Florida and Texas.
Going again with the see-saw nature of our November and March splits, Alabamians had more trouble on DST switches during November than March. But not by much: Its total fatal crashes for November were 20, while for March there were 16. Whether Alabama lawmakers know of this poor driving performance on DST switches or not, they are certainly trying to get rid of DST switches. Just this past year, lawmakers passed HB 215 in the State House, which would make daylight saving time permanent.
Said Kitty Hines WHNT News 19 in Huntsville, Alabama, about wanting consistency:
"I just got back from a trip to San Antonio and we went by train and everything's fine until the daylight saving time changed. The morning it changed, I had to get up at 3:30 in order to get all my things together and catch the train at 6 in the morning."
The bill heads to the Alabama Senate next, but still would need Congress’s approval before becoming law. As we’ve seen, lawmakers are debating this issue on Capitol Hill, though it may take time to make a decision as these issues require a consensus of the majority of lawmakers from all states. And watching that get done is a little bit like taking some free time to negotiate a lawsuit settlement.
#4 – North Carolina
The Tar Heel State comes in at 4th on this list of the worst states for DST switches, which may or may not be a surprise to people living in the state. It scores in the bottom six in two categories but has a score surprisingly outside of the bottom 10. How bad did this state do?
North Carolina’s worst score is actually for the first category: percentage share change. According to the World Population Review, North Carolina has a population of nearly 11 million this year, which places it in 9th place of the most populous states in the country. Still, it had the largest percentage share shift, even more than Florida and Texas, two states on our list with either double (Florida) or triple (Texas) North Carolina’s population.
On an average day between 2013 and 2018, North Carolina accounted for 3.9 percent of the total fatal crashes for all states. On days with DST switches, it accounted for 5 percent of total fatal crashes.
It wasn’t much better when it came to its second category: percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch. In this category, it placed 6th, behind (in descending order) just New Hampshire, Mississippi, Washington, Connecticut, and Louisiana. Of its 7,626 fatal crashes from 2013 to 2018, 59 occurred on DST switches, which was good for 0.8 percent.
This is our highest percentage in that category so far in these rankings. While North Carolina fared very poorly in those two categories, it wasn’t terrible in the last category—fatal crashes per licensed driver. This proves that while North Carolina’s DST performance was quite awful, there were some redeeming qualities.
In the category of fatal crashes per licensed driver, North Carolina ranks 11th. Its average fatal crashes per licensed driver during DST switches was a 41.4 percent higher than the mean for all states. That’s relatively positive compared to some other states on this list.
North Carolina ranks 4th on this list because it’s percentage share for fatal crashes grows more than any other state between an average day and DST switches. 0.8 percent of its fatal crashes occur on DST switch days, which is 6th worst in the nation and ranks 11th for average fatal crashes per licensed driver on days with a DST switch.
North Carolina is a little bit like our previous state, Alabama, when it comes to the categorization of fatal crashes based on time period or by month (either March or November). Of its 59 fatal crashes, 29 occurred between 2016 and 2018, while 30 occurred between 2013 and 2015.
They were split roughly the same way when it came to Marches and Novembers. There were 28 fatal crashes in March from 2013 to 2018 in the Tar Heel State, and 31 in November. Like Alabama, the numbers are almost evenly split. This is counter to some of the shifts we’ve seen earlier, such as in Florida and Texas. So, what are lawmakers doing about this issue of DST?
North Carolina lawmakers “have waded into this issue,” according to Patch in Charlotte, N.C., passing a bill in the State House that would have made daylight saving time year-around. However, it stalled in the Senate. Either way, it would need to be approved by Congress, as we’ve seen.
In this video, a local news station covers the issue of daylight saving time and making it permanent in North Carolina, highlighting a bill that was passed in the state Senate and making its way to the House. The news reporter covers the issue from social media, asking people to vote on whether they believe that staying on daylight saving time in North Carolina is a good thing.
The votes may surprise you, as they certainly surprised the anchors sitting in the newsroom toward the end of the video.
#3 – Louisiana
The Pelican State, best known for Mardi Gras, gumbo, and one of the worst states for lawsuits (quick read: Do I need to hire a lawyer?), comes in at 3rd on this list of worst states for DST switches. How bad was Louisiana? It ranked in the bottom six for all three categories, scoring a 6, 5, and 2.
For percentage share change, it ranked 6th. Unlike our other states that had quite a large population, Louisiana, according to World Population Review, is ranked 25th in the nation when it comes to population. This makes its change from 2.1 percent to 2.8 percent that much larger.
It goes downhill from there, with a 5th place ranking in the percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch. Of its 4,139 fatal crashes, 33 occurred on DST switches. With a 0.8 percent, this matches (or slightly exceeds based on rounding numbers) our previous highest-ranking state in this category.
And then it hits (near) rock-bottom with a 2nd place finish in fatal crashes per licensed driver. Louisiana’s average fatal crashes per driver were 72.4 percent above the mean for all states.
Louisiana ranks 3rd in this list of the worst states for DST switches because it has poor scores in all three categories, including a very negative 2nd in the average fatal crashes per licensed driver category. This means that, based on licensed drivers, Louisiana is the second-most dangerous state to drive in.
Following the trend of some of our other 10 worst states, Louisiana has the majority of its fatal crashes on DST switches occurring from 2013 to 2015, with fewer occurring from 2016 to 2018 (19 fatal crashes to 14). It is also split fairly evenly between fatal crashes in March and November, with 17 occurring in March and 16 in November.
What are lawmakers in Louisiana doing about DST? According to BossierNow, State Representative Dodie Horton (R-Haughton) has submitted a House bill that would make daylight saving time permanent, though it would have to be approved by Congress like all the others mentioned in these rankings.
Certainly, in the states on this list, it appears most states don’t like DST. But, then, they’d be among the majority of states in America that are trying to make a change.
WWLTV, a news organization, covered the different states (at the time of this video) that were considering an end to daylight saving time. The list included Florida, California, and Oregon, all who were considering passing a law that ended daylight saving time (or had already done so). It also included a work-around approach by some states in the Northeast that wanted to bypass the need for congressional approval by entering into a different time zone, then ending daylight saving time.
The anchor noted that the push for ending daylight saving time has grown like never before. This could be positive for the state, which has one of the highest insurance rates in the country. Now, about that no-fault versus tort insurance legal system debate...
#2 – New Hampshire
The Granite State, with its libertarian ideals and beautiful scenic highways, comes in at 2nd on this list of the worst state for DST switches. Why does New Hampshire, a small state with extremely low insurance rates, come in at such a high ranking? It's ranked 8th,1st, and 4th in our three categories.
The first one may simply be shocking. According to the World Population Review, New Hampshire is ranked as the 42nd most populous state. But in the category of change in percentage share, it ranks 8th, ahead of 42 other states and Washington, D.C.
The jump itself is alarming. On an average day between 2013 and 2018, it held a 0.4 percent share of all fatal crashes for all states. It jumps to a 0.9 percentage share on days with DST switch.
Further, it ranked 1st in a category nobody wants to be first in: percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch. Of its 678 fatal crashes from 2013 to 2018, 10 fatal crashes occurred during DST switches. This was good for 1.5 percent of its fatal crashes, or 1 percent higher than the median.
It fared a little better in the last category: fatal crashes per licensed driver. There, it ranked 4th, with its average fatal crashes per licensed driver coming in at 62.5 percent above the mean for all states.
New Hampshire is the 2nd-worst state in the nation for DST switches because it's simply bad in all categories. Its percentage share jumps a huge amount for a state with such a small population. It has the highest percentage of fatal crashes occurring on DST switches compared to all other states. It also has an average of fatal crashes on DST switches to licensed drivers worse than 46 other states and the District of Columbia.
New Hampshire has 10 total crashes on DST days, with six occurring from 2013 to 2015 and four occurring from 2016 to 2018. Four crashes were during March and six crashes were in November.
Now, what are the lawmakers doing about the DST switch in The Granite State? As of this date, they are attempting to join Connecticut and two other states in moving into a different time zone. This would allow them to circumvent the system and end daylight saving time. The other two states are Maine and Rhode Island, the latter of which has some mid-level car insurance rates.
WTNH covers states ending DST around the country, with a focus on Florida, which has already passed its law ending DST, and Connecticut, which was trying to find a way around it at the time of this video. WTNH interviews a person in Connecticut who says some people agreed that eliminating DST was a good thing, with business owners saying they receive more business in the afternoon sunlight than in the morning sunlight because people are more awake.
If it goes through, it would be a big win for those fighting against DST. Maybe Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine can get Massachusetts, with higher than average auto insurance rates, to join them in entering a new time zone.
#1 – Mississippi
The Magnolia State comes in at 1st on this list of worst states for DST switches. How bad was Mississippi? It fell into the bottom four in all three categories, including being at the absolute bottom in one and the second-worst state in a second category. It is simply the worst state in the country to drive in during a DST switch. Why? Read on.
Mississippi ranked 4th in percent share change. On an average day from 2013 to 2018, it held a 1.8 percent share in fatal crashes for all states. During a day with a DST switch, that number jumped to 2.5 percent share. It fared even worse when it came to the category percentage of overall fatal crashes during a DST switch. Of its 3,536 fatal crashes from 2013 to 2018, 30 came on days with a DST switch. This amounted to 0.9 percent of its overall fatal crashes.
And it dropped even further in fatal crashes per licensed driver, where it ranked dead last. Its average fatal crashes by licensed driver were a full 209 percent higher than the mean for all states. This is 137 percent higher than the nearest two states. What does that mean, exactly? It means, simply, that there was a much higher number of fatal crashes per licensed driver in Mississippi than other states. It is a direct measure of the drivers’ performance.
Mississippi is the worst state for DST switches because it had a higher of fatal crashes per licensed driver than other states. A higher percentage of its fatal crashes occurred on DST switches compared to all other states, and it had a large percentage share shift.
Unlike most states on this list, Mississippi had a wide difference between its fatal crashes between 2013 to 2015 and 2016 to 2018, and it moved in the opposite direction than our last few states.
Of its 30 fatal crashes on DST switch days, 21 occurred between 2016 to 2018, while nine occurred between 2013 and 2015. November and March statistics had a similar difference, with 20 fatal crashes occurring during November and 10 during March.
So are lawmakers in Mississippi trying to change DST? Like many other states, a bill has been proposed to have Mississippi end daylight saving time, only if Congress would approve it. The general consensus in these 10 states has been to get rid of it.
And for good reason. The bottom 10 have some of the worst problems, at least when it comes to driving. Whether Congress acts sooner or later remains to be seen. But if most of these 10 states had their way, daylight saving time would be ended and fatal crashes might be reduced, which would lead to fewer deaths and fewer lawsuits ending in settlements.
How dangerous is a daylight saving time switch?
Okay, now we’re out of the worst 10 states section of this article. What follows in the next few sections are insights we’ve gleaned through our research. The first is perhaps the most important: Is daylight saving time a dangerous day to drive?
The easiest starting point was to look at the average fatal crashes for DST switches. It turns out that November DST switches have more fatal crashes on average than March fatal crashes, by nearly nine fatal crashes.
March's average fatal crashes were 93.7, while November's were 102.8.
Still, that is just a preliminary measure, as fatal crashes vary between months and days of the week significantly. We wanted a breakdown approach where we determined danger by three sets of metrics. Those were:
DST switches in comparison to the DST corresponding month
DST switches in comparison to the DST corresponding Sunday (for the entire year)
DST switches in comparison to the DST corresponding Sunday of that month
Within DST switches in comparison to the DST corresponding month, we found that DST switch days had more average fatal crashes than the average fatal crashes of their corresponding months. We did this by looking at each November and March from 2013 to 2018, averaging their total fatal crashes with the number of days, then comparing the results to the DST switches.
The table below summarizes that data, with the third column having the total fatal crashes for the corresponding DST switch and the fourth column having the average number of fatal crashes per day for the corresponding month. The final column shows the difference between those two numbers. A positive number means the fatal crashes for the DST switch exceeded the number for the entire month.
What follows is not necessarily a surprise. Fatal crashes for both March and November DST switch days are above the average days for their months. But what about the comparison between those days—are March DST switch days more dangerous by this measure than November DST switch days or vice versa?
The next table shows the same information as the table above but just for March, with its total fatal crashes for DST switch days and the corresponding monthly average for that month and year combination.
The total number for fatal crashes in March DST switch days is over 67 fatal crashes higher than for the average daily fatal crashes for those corresponding months. This translates to about 11 extra fatal crashes on March DST switch days compared to the daily average for the corresponding months.
Are November DST switch days more dangerous or less dangerous compared to their average daily fatal crashes per the corresponding months than March? This table here follows the same structure as the previous table for March DST fatal crashes, but for November DST fatal crashes.
It turns out that they are slightly even. While March DST fatal crashes are 67 over the average daily fatal crashes for their corresponding months, November DST fatal crashes are 68 over. This translates to a slightly higher on average fatal crashes per November DST switch days, but not by much.
The original thought is that both DSTs are dangerous. This data raises another question: How do the DST fatal crashes compare to other days on the same day of the week?
For the second measure in how dangerous DST switches were from 2013 to 2018, we took a look at Sundays, which are consistently known to have the second-highest fatal crashes compared to any other day of the week (the day with the most fatal crashes is Saturday).
For this set of statistics, we looked at every Sunday over those six years—2013 to 2018—and calculated the average fatality per Sunday for that year. We then compared those Sunday totals to the DST fatality totals, coming up with a +/- as we did in the previous analysis.
Check out this table that shows the total fatal crashes for each DST switch day, the average fatal crashes for the corresponding Sundays of that year, and the +/- difference in those fatal crashes.
In this picture, the clarity—whether DST switches are dangerous—is a little less clear. Combined, the fatal crashes of November and March DST switch days are just a little over five fatal crashes more than the combined totals for the average Sundays for all those years.
Scroll down to see the table that shows the data from the table above but just for the March dates—March DST switch totals and corresponding Sunday totals and +/-.
When compared against the average total fatal crashes of Sundays for their corresponding years, March total fatal crashes are over 24 fatal crashes behind in the total sum-up. This means that they were less dangerous on average—by about four fatal crashes per day—than the average Sunday for the corresponding years.
Next, we did the same thing for November DST fatal crashes compared to the average Sunday. The data presented below contains the fatality data for both November DST fatal crashes, the average Sunday total fatal crashes, and the +/- between the two.
Fatal crashes on November DST switches were over 30 fatal crashes higher than the sum of the average fatal crashes for all the years 2013-2018. This is a remarkable change from the previous set of statistics, where both DST switch days per month were nearly identical. This measure implies that November DST switches are much more dangerous compared to March switches when compared to the average Sunday.
This can imply a few things, including that Sundays in March may not have, generally, as many fatal crashes as Sundays in other months. Whereas, November might have more.
Finally, to even these statistics out, we looked at the final metric: DST switch fatal crashes compared to fatal crashes for the average Sunday within those corresponding months and years. For instance, a March DST switch in 2013 would be compared to the Sundays in March for that year.
The following table contains data from total fatal crashes from individual November and March DST days along with the average fatal crashes from Sundays for the DST days’ corresponding months.
Compared to their corresponding Sundays and Months, DST switch days had 79.9 more fatal crashes from 2013 to 2018. While this is just 6.7 more fatal crashes per day, it does imply that DST switch days are more dangerous compared to other days. How does it look when comparing March and November?
Check out this table that has data specifically about March, comparing March DST switches to corresponding Sundays within that month and year.
All told, March DST fatal crashes exceeded the average Sunday per month total by just 33.3 fatal crashes. This means that March DST switches had a little more than five fatal crashes per day compared to the average Sunday in that month. How was it for November? The next table contains the same information as the March table but for November.
This includes comparing the November DST switches to the corresponding Sundays within that month or year.
In total, November fatal crashes amounted to 46.6 more than the sum from the average for Sundays in their corresponding months. This is almost eight fatal crashes more per day on November DST switches.
So, there’s all this data. How do we make sense of it? The first and last point of this section is that it appears DST switches are a dangerous day to drive. When averaged, both March and November DST switches have a higher number of fatal crashes than almost all metrics.
Which DST switch is the most dangerous? November is the clear winner. It is the leader in all three metrics, including one where March DSTs weren’t considered all that dangerous. But there remains the question of why it is. For that, we turn to the next section.
This video, by It's Okay to Be Smart, covers significantly the history surrounding daylight saving time, including how a uniform time code got started and why a couple of Englishmen thought it would be great for (them) and society to have a daylight saving time switch.
This, according to the Englishmen, would allow people to spend more time outdoors and reduce the pollution from coal use, among other various benefits.
Is November DST switch more dangerous?
Now we’re out of the determination that DST switches are more dangerous days to drive than typical. What follows in the next few sections are insights we’ve gleaned through our research, starting here with the causes behind the deaths in March and November DST switches.
For an introduction, daylight saving time switches always happen in the same two months: March and November. DST starts in March to give people an extra hour of light during the summer while removing that extra hour for winter in November. It does this by moving clocks forward one hour in March, also called “Spring Forward.” In November, it’s the opposite—the clocks fall back an hour, also called “Fall Back.” Which of these switches is the most dangerous?
We already saw that this is likely November, which led the three metrics in the previous section. To find out why there was this discrepancy, we turned to more metrics to analyze just what causes the most deaths each day. There are a couple of interesting notes to break down when it comes to each day. We looked at three parts to these statistics:
Fatal crashes by light condition
Danger to pedestrians and bicyclists
General information such as precipitation and type of collision
Let’s start with fatal crashes by light collision. For these statistics, we looked at five different factors, all taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s FARS data:
Dark - not lighted
Dark - lighted
What we found is that darkness is a problem for both, but only for one is it a serious problem. Can you guess which one?
It’s remarkable how different these statistics were for both months. There was a 19.4 percent drop in fatal crashes in daylight from March to November. All dark conditions (light and not lighted) increased by 9 percent, and crashes at dusk increased by 1.4 percent. The only factor that did not change was the percentage of fatal crashes at dawn.
Next, we looked at how dangerous those two days were for pedestrians and bicyclists. For these statistics, we used FARS data again and analyzed each day in our set (six for November, six for March) for fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
For each month, we summed up the number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, then divided them by the number of fatal crashes for that month (November or March). Then we got the percentage of fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists compared to the overall number of fatal crashes.
In March DST switches, there were 84 fatal crashes involving pedestrians and seven involving bicyclists. Combined, they accounted for 16.2 percent of overall March DST switch fatal crashes.
In November DST switches, there were 109 fatal crashes involving pedestrians and eight involving bicyclists. They amounted to 19 percent of overall November DST switch fatal crashes.
For additional insight, we looked at nine different factors, applying them to both November and March DST switches. Those were:
We found that our categories accounted for the March DST switches more than the November DST switches. By that, we mean that the percentages were generally higher in the March categories. This can quite obviously change if other categories are added that are more indicative of the November categories.
The next table contains the percentage of the number of fatal crashes in a category to the number of overall fatal crashes for that month.
Of the nine categories for fatal crashes, March leads in six: rainfall, two-vehicle crashes, multi-vehicle crashes, crashes involving a distracted driver, crashes involving an older driver, and angle collisions. November leads in just one category: single-vehicle crashes. The two months are in a virtual tie for the two remaining: fatal crashes involving a young driver and head-on collisions.
This suggests that fatal crashes in November can be explained by another or more than one category. We’ve already seen that the light condition statistics show that darkness is a particular issue with Novembers. It’s possible that other categories relate to the darkness statistics.
This may include statistics about alcohol-related crashes, but the NHTSA no longer makes these statistics public. We know what you may also be thinking: November has on average more fatal crashes than March, so that could be a mitigating factor. And it’s true: November does have more fatal crashes than March on average.
A logical assumption can be that these crashes most often happen around Thanksgiving, which is one of the most highly trafficked holidays. November DST switches fall well before that.
All things said, November is a more dangerous month than March for DST switches. Research seems to indicate that this rise in crashes is most probably due to the extra hour of darkness, which results in more fatal crashes. This underscores the importance, as well, of knowing the steps you need to take after an accident.
In this video produced by Super 8, various dashboard bobblehead dolls educate their drivers about distracted driving, as the drivers are putting the lives of the bobblehead dolls in danger. Because daylight saving time messes with our circadian rhythms, fatigue and drowsiness are considered serious issues on those days that lead to more fatal crashes.
As the various bobblehead dolls state, drinking coffee and listening to loud music don't alleviate fatigue, which is a cause of many major and minor accidents on the road. When it doubt, pull over. You could be saving your life or the lives of others (or the bobblehead dolls).
The 2015 Steep Rise in Fatal Crashes
When looking at our statistics, you may have noticed a big jump starting after March 2015, that following November. In general, from March 2013 to March 2015, there was an average of 85 fatal crashes per day. From November 2015 to November 2018, there was an average of 108 fatal crashes per day. We were interested in this jump and looked at a set of statistics to determine if there was a specific cause. What we found is certainly illuminating.
First, fatal crashes, in general, rose from 2013 to 2018, though not year to year. What we saw is that the average fatal crashes per day rose significantly from 2014 to 2015, then continued its rise again for the final three years in our statistical set.
From 2013 to 2015, the average fatal crashes per day throughout each year was between 82 and 89. From 2016 to 2018, that number jumped to between 92 and 95. Our jump for the DST switches was much larger than that.
We wanted to further dive down into this issue and so looked at the two issues we examined in the previous sections: light condition and the same nine categories when comparing November and March fatal crashes. When it came to light condition, the statistics were surprisingly even, despite one of the sets (November 2015 to 2018) containing one more November day, which we know is associated with more fatal crashes when the conditions are “dark” or “dark but lighted."
Scroll down to see this table, which shows the percentages of fatal crashes for each period (March 2013 to March 2015 or November 2015 to November 2018) according to each light condition category.
Most differ by just one percentage point, showing that there is not much difference in the percentage of crashes depending on light condition. According to this research, there is nothing that suggests light conditions affected the big jump after March 2015. But what happens when we look at the nine categories? Something very different.
Within our nine categories, the back half of the time period (November 2015 to November 2018) has a higher percentage share in all but three categories, with a virtual tie in one of those three. The next table shows the categories we gathered statistics on and what percentage of each time period’s fatal crashes fit into those categories.
The fatal crashes in the November 2015 to 2018 time period make up a higher percentage in the six categories:
Collisions involving more than two vehicles
Collisions involving a young driver
Collisions involving an older driver
It is in a virtual time with the March 2013 to 2015 time period in collisions involving a distracted driver, and that time period leads in two-vehicle collisions and angle collisions. A couple of notes: While the presence of an extra November in the back half may affect the single-vehicle collisions percentage, it doesn’t affect the other five categories in a demonstrable way.
These statistics show that the back half of our time period had a lot of trouble with rainfall (or perhaps rainfall fell on those days more often than the first half), large collisions with more than two vehicles, problems with young and older drivers, and issues with head-on collisions, in general, and when compared to the first half of our time period.
Ultimately, the back half of our time period (November 2015 - 2018) had more trouble with almost every category. This may have contributed to the rise in fatal crashes from the earlier period to that period. The rise in fatal crashes overall certainly was a factor as well.
Which light conditions are the most dangerous?
Another issue we focused on with this study was light condition. In it, we found some interesting trends. To get insights, we first looked at the total number of fatal crashes in the United States from 2013 to 2018, then categorized them according to five light conditions:
Dark (not lighted)
When looking at all states, the numbers showed that the most prevalent light condition for accidents was daylight, followed by both dark conditions combined. Scroll down to see the next table, which shows all the crashes for all states organized by these light conditions, along with the percentage of those light conditions out of the whole of the total crashes by light condition.
There were over 93,000 fatal crashes in daylight from 2013 to 2018, accounting for 48.2 percent of all fatal crashes. Both dark conditions combined for 92,000 crashes, accounting for 47.6 percent of the total.
Dusk and dawn fatal crashes were relatively small compared to the other three categories, accounting for 8,400 crashes and 4.3 percent of the total.
We did the same set of statistics for all crashes on DST switches. What we found was a little more remarkable. The next table shows the total fatal crashes on DST switches from 2013 to 2018, with those crashes broken down by light condition. Percentages of the crashes per light condition are also shown, in a similar format to the fatal crashes for all states.
In comparison, on DST switches daylight accounted for just 32.1 percent of all fatal crashes. Darkness accounted for a huge 62.3 percent with a single category—dark, not lighted—having a higher percentage share (34.6 percent) than daylight altogether. There was actually a lower percentage of crashes happening at dawn or dusk during DST switches than for the total for all states.
We wanted to take this a step further and isolate for a single day—Sunday, the day on which all DST switches fall. How would the statistics look if we positioned DST switches against the day they fall on, from the years 2013 to 2018? The table below tells the story of light conditions on Sundays from 2013 to 2018, and which type of light condition accounts for the most fatal crashes on those days and during that period of time.
What we see is something in the middle. Sundays are a more dangerous day to drive at night than for the average day of the week. But they are still not as dangerous as driving at night on a DST switch. The percentage of crashes at dawn and dusk is actually higher on Sundays than on an average day.
Overall, this may show that people have trouble with the time shift, as it alters our sense of what time it is. Even though we may understand that it is 8 p.m. at night, our body may feel differently, resulting in possibly more fatal crashes.
In this video, a local news team from Sacramento covers the issue of car crashes on daylight saving time switches, this time from the perspective of the March switch, which can leave early morning commuters in darkness as they try to get to their functions. As the reporter notes, this reduced visibility can affect drivers, especially when they might be drowsy already to begin with.
The reporter also notes that a drowsy driver can have similar reflexes and reaction times as someone that has been drinking, which poses a danger on the roads.
Are pedestrians more in danger?
Now, for our third factor: fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Some outlets report that pedestrians and bicyclists are more at risk on DST switches. Is this true?
For this set of statistics, we looked at fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists for the entire United States from 2013 to 2018, then divided by the total number of crashes to get the percentage of those crashes based on the whole. That number? 19.6 percent. Then we did the same thing for two parts of the DST switches:
The DST fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists percentage of the whole
The DST fatal crashes of that same subset but solely in November
What we found was somewhat shocking, given prevailing wisdom. The DST percentage of fatal crashes that involved pedestrians and bicyclists was actually lower than the percentage for all days. So was the percentage for November.
The one difference was the November percentage was higher than the March percentage, lending more credence that the November DST switch is more dangerous overall and for a subgroup like pedestrians and bicyclists.
DST switches as a whole had a higher percentage of their fatal crashes involve pedestrians and bicyclists than Sundays. But the difference between the two—17.6 percent to 16.9 percent—wasn’t large. Are DST switches more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists? Our research doesn’t seem to suggest they are, at least in any statistically meaningful way.
Are rural or urban areas more affected?
One aspect of DST switches we were interested in was rural versus urban. In other words, do DST switches affect rural or urban areas more and if so, what are the statistics behind that?
To come up with our statistics, we looked at rural versus urban fatal crashes throughout America from 2013 to 2018.
We then divided each category by the total number of fatal crashes to determine what percentage of crashes happened in rural areas versus urban areas. In total, those percentages were:
51.5 percent of fatal crashes from 2013 to 2018 in America were in urban areas
48 percent of fatal crashes during that same time period and sample size were in rural areas
A certain number of crashes were labeled unknown. We applied the same statistical analysis to the fatal crashes for DST switches and found something interesting.
55.9 percent of fatal crashes during DST switches were in urban areas
43.7 percent were in rural areas
The gap widened even further in the differences from March to November DST switches.
In November DST switches, 54.3 percent were in urban areas, while 45.7 were in rural areas
In March DST switches, 57.6 percent were in urban areas, while 41.7 were in rural areas
Not only are DST switches worse for urban areas than rural based on raw statistics and comparison to the nationwide average, but they are also far worse during March DST switches than November switches. To look at this a little closer, we analyzed both DST switches and overall crashes throughout America from 2013 to 2018 for five categories of fatal crashes:
Involving an interstate
Involving a bicyclist
Involving a pedestrian
We applied these to both urban and rural fatal crashes and compared the DST switch percentages to the percentages for all states from 2013 to 2018. Scroll down to see the next graphic. It shows three of those categories comparing urban fatal crashes: intersection-related, involving an interstate, and involving a bicyclist.
When comparing rural versus urban DST fatal crashes for our three categories, we can immediately see that urban environments have more crashes overall. In fact, in terms of our percentages, which is comparing the number of fatal crashes against the total, we can see that urban environments have a higher percentage of their crashes coming from intersections, interstates, and involving a bicyclist.
The following table shows the total five categories, which are the three above plus involving a pedestrian and roadway departures, just for rural environments. The two statistics involve percentages of total: the percentage of crashes in each of these categories within the DST switch sample set and the total crashes sample set.
Within the five rural fatal crash categories, three drop and two go up. Of the three that drop, the two largest are fatal crashes involving a roadway departure and fatal crashes involving an intersection. They drop by 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. The only category that rises any significant level is interstate fatal crashes with a rise of 0.7 percent.
Now, how do the urban fatal crash percentages for DST switches compare to their counterparts for all states from 2013 to 2018?
In a comparison of the two sides, there are just a couple of significant differences. For the rural side, there is just a drop in intersection fatal crashes and roadway departures during the DST switches. In urban areas, there is a rise in interstate fatal crashes and a steep rise in roadway departure crashes.
In the end, urban areas are more dangerous to drive in during DST switches than rural areas, with roadway departures rising significantly in urban areas compared to the nationwide average, likely contributing to the increased fatal crashes and crash percentage compared to rural areas.
Does daylight saving time impact the economy?
The big push for daylight saving time, according to proponents, is that it benefits the economy. And, of course, stimulating the economy is good for Americans. There are a couple of reasons proponents of DST think that the switch benefits the economy:
An extra hour during the summer promotes spending by consumers.
Energy costs are lower during the summer due to reduced electricity uses.
Those are the logical steps at least. Unfortunately, the actual research is mixed at best. As PNC Financial Services economist Kurt Rankin said:
“It would be hard to attribute any gains or losses economically to daylight saving time because there are so many other potential variables.”
Rankin also adds that, if any, businesses benefit from the DST switch, it’s businesses that sell outdoor products, a claim which is corroborated by Eric Goldschein of Fundera. Goldschein even hits the other side of the coin, which are the businesses that might benefit from the “fall back” switch.
These businesses cater to holiday or winter shoppers, such as an owner of a hot tub business. The logic lies that the fall back switch will remind people that winter or the holidays is coming and it’s time to shop. As far as energy, a couple of studies have shown mixed reviews, with some energy decreases and other increases. This is due to another factor of energy—air conditioning and heating. While the need for electric light is decreased during the summer, people still need air conditioning.
This cost offsets any potential savings from not using electric lights.
In this video, the creators explore the history of daylight saving time, as well as the country that first used it. It also explores the idea that daylight saving time affects energy use, such as artificial lighting.
One of those issues is air conditioning, which was not factored into the original rationale to implement DST. The creators note that it is a tough question to answer whether more or less electricity and energy are used due to DST.
Does daylight saving time impact our health?
Then there are the opponents of DST switch, many of whom come from health fields. Their thoughts?
Daylight saving time, especially during the spring, messes with our sleep circadian rhythm, causing us to feel out of sorts, which can result in more heart attacks and more workplace accidents. As shown in a Swedish study, the risk of a heart attack increases during the first three weeks following a switch to daylight saving time.
This may be due, as some researchers have speculated, that the heart attack risk is generally higher during the mornings.
Daylight saving time lengthens that morning by changing the time in which we wake up to sunlight. The Monday after a daylight saving time can also result in more workplace injuries than a typical Monday. And that’s just the parts for the March switch.
An Australia study reported that the suicides rise after the November switch. Other people report that the November switch can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a condition in which people become lethargic, have less energy, and have a lower mood due to the lack of sunlight.
Health experts and researchers have been pushing for an end to daylight saving time for years. Many politicians have cited health workers and studies as part of their appeals to push for a permanent daylight saving time. In the end, the argument is often divided into those two parts: the benefit to the economy and the effect on health (and on traffic accidents as well). An apt analogy might be renting your car to others. While you might gain a boost financially, you run the risk of them crashing it.
While change for DST may not occur for several years (though maybe less), it appears the push for a permanent daylight saving time is growing every year.
How to Stay Safe During a Daylight Saving Time Switch
We know they're dangerous, that on these days, you have a higher likelihood of a fatal crash. Your circadian rhythms may be a little messed up, that you may have a lack of sleep. Don't fret, however. We're bringing in the experts from all around the world to share their tips about how to be safe during daylight saving time.
Tips to Handle a Daylight Saving Time Switch
"Daylight saving is the practice of moving clocks ahead in the spring and pulling them back in the fall to conserve daylight hours. However, a lot of us dislike this practice because of disruptions in our sleep schedule, mainly because it doesn’t really serve the purpose of saving energy as it has always been told.
It is just the shift of one hour in the clock and thus getting to our work earlier, but it takes days to adjust to this change. People feel more deprived of sleep in the morning and hence are not able to concentrate well on the road. This leads to fatal road accidents.
According to a study, there is a 6 percent increase in the number of deaths during the first week only. People tell that they were not able to concentrate on the road and were not able to make the right decisions in time due to sleep deprivation, which did lead to accidents.
However, you can be prepared on the day of the switch with these three simple tips:
Try starting from home with a buffer of a few minutes, so that you do not have to over-speed.
You can choose a route to work, which has less traffic than your usual way.
You can try having a cup of coffee before leaving so that you don’t have to force yourself to remain awake.
There are alterations that individuals can make in their habits to adjust easily in the DST. Follow the advice below:
People should start focusing on more sleep a few days before the daylight switch and try to switch their sleep schedule accordingly. This way, it won’t be an immediate change in sleep patterns and will give time to their biological clock to adjust accordingly.
Try waking up rather earlier and get into some physical activity before you start off to your work so that you are not sleepy while you are driving. You can go for a short walk or do some yoga.
To save some time for yourself in the morning, you can do some of the chores the previous evening, like ironing your clothes that you will wear the next day, doing the preparations for breakfast, so that it takes less time to prepare it the following day. This way, you can start early from home and can prevent any incident.
However, considering the effects it has on driving and other activities and its ineffectiveness in saving energy, I believe that we should stop switching the clocks. Saskatchewan stopped changing their clocks in 1966, and the Government of Yukon has also announced not to switch their clocks."
Rajandeep Kaur is the social media director at TeacherOn.
At TeacherOn, you can find tutors in 125 countries for help in over 3,500 subjects.
Daylight Saving Time Causes a Disturbance in Our Minds and Bodies
"Daylight Saving Time affects everyone especially when you’re on the road driving or sitting in a car waiting for your destination or just enjoying the view.
Why and how? On the second Sunday of March, each year, we forward our clocks by an hour to gain more daylight in the evening and less in the early morning. The reason behind this act is that we save energy and the cost that comes with it. But this doesn’t mean that it has no ill effects.
Several studies in various countries have claimed that there is a significant increase in traffic collisions, accidents, and fatalities on the next day, Monday and it continues till the end of the week.
The reasons behind this can be understood by the simple understanding of the disturbance felt by our mind and body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the reason behind these statistics is the disruption to our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns.
So, to avoid this, a few tips can be religiously followed, every year. Try to go to bed earlier than usual, which will give your body a few more hours of rest. Keeping a safe following distance while driving is in itself a good driving practice. It is important to be visible especially at this time.
It has been noticed that most of the drivers are active during the evening and because of the reduced sunlight, the driver’s visibility gets reduced that can result in fatal accidents. So, make sure that all of the vehicle’s lights are properly working, windows are properly clean and the ice is cleaned off."
Jennifer Willie is an editor at the travel information center, ETIA.com.
ETIA educates travelers around the world with the latest news and travel requirements.
The Raw Statistics Behind Drowsy Driving
"Did you know that over 40 percent of people admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once?
With daylight saving time and National Sleep Awareness Month (also March) here, Super 8 by Wyndham is sounding the timely alarm on drowsy driving with its annual wakeup call to #JourneySafe.
In partnership with NYC Sleep Expert, Dr. Janet Kennedy, the brand has launched its annual awareness campaign, complete with resources to become an advocate including tips for getting your best sleep while on the road traveling, and a pledge to sign, promising to not drive drowsy and journey safe.
Alarming Facts About Drowsy Driving:
Drowsy driving is often more dangerous than drunk driving! Sleep deprivation, or having less than five hours of sleep, can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol. A drunk driver can often drive slowly and try to react, but a drowsy driver can nod off while still going fast
More than 40 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once
Drowsy driving crashes often involve only a single driver (and no passengers) running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking
Drowsy driving crashes are most common late at night and early in the morning during the body's natural sleep period
Why You Need a Super 8 Hours of Sleep:
One-third of Americans are sleep deprived.
According to the CDC, drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.
The CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor survey determined that 35.3 percent of respondents reported fewer than seven hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period.
50 to 70 million U.S. adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Lack of sleep can leave you with a bad attitude, which can lead you to drive dangerously.
Getting enough sleep protects you, like insurance or prevention methods for auto theft.
What is microsleep?
Microsleep is a fleeting, uncontrollable, brief episode of sleep which can last anywhere from a single fraction of a second up to 10 full seconds. These episodes of microsleep occur most frequently when a sleepy person is trying to fight sleep and remain awake.
Did you know that over 40 percent of people admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once?"
Dr. Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist, is the founder of NYC Sleep Doctor.
She wrote “The Good Sleeper” and is the spokesperson for the JourneySafe initiative.
The Final Word on Daylight Saving Time
In all the research surrounding these dangerous days, the most well-known and often cited research said that the March DST switch, in particular, was the most dangerous. This was due to the lack of sleep caused by the March DST switch. This led to accidents throughout the workweek as people adjusted to the schedule.
We took a different approach and analyzed the days of the switches themselves. What we found was something unusual compared to much current research: November DST switches days were more dangerous than March DST switches.
While this may seem to run counter to current research, it complements the other studies more than anything else. Different samples were looked at and different areas were focused on. Our conclusions?
November DST switches are dangerous days to drive, in part because of the lack of sunlight. The statistics were jarring: November DST switches had more crashes overall, and over 60 percent of those crashes occurred during the dark. The numbers between daylight and dark were more evenly balanced for March DST switch days.
As for the top 10, there were small states, states with a high population density, and those with not. Ultimately, we could have simply chosen the states with the most DST crashes but that would have just included (most likely) the largest states.
Mississippi is the worst state, edging out New Hampshire. There were six states in the South—Texas, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Almost all states have some sort of legislation proposed or have proposed one in the past to make (end) daylight saving time permanent.
What is to make of all of this? That is ultimately for you, as the reader, to decide. All of this is information you can apply, whether for yourself on the road, for your family, such as when you're teaching your teen to drive, or to your community. Hope you enjoyed this study. Sleep well and drive safe.
For this study, our data came almost completely from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS is a system that tracks all fatal crashes for several years. We used data between 2013 and 2018.
From the FARS system, we took the following sets of data for 2013 to 2018 (the corresponding sample is in parentheses):
Total fatal crashes (all states)
Total fatal crashes (individual states)
Fatal crashes on DST switches (all states)
March fatal crashes (all states)
November fatal crashes (all states)
Sunday fatal crashes (all states)
Fatal crashes according to light condition (various samples)
Fatal crashes according to various conditions (rainfall/single-vehicle, etc.) (various samples)
Fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists (various samples)
Those were all cross-referenced and compared in various sections of the article, accounting for over 836,000 points of data. And that doesn’t even include the ranking part of the study.
The ranking section, well, was slightly complicated. We looked at three factors to determine which states were the most dangerous to drive in on DST switches:
Percentage share change
Percentage of fatal crashes that occurred on DST switches
Average fatal crashes on DST switches per licensed driver
For the first factor "percentage share change," we calculated the percentage share of fatal crashes for all states on an average day for 2013 to 2018. Then we calculated the percentage share of fatal crashes for all states on DST switch days. Therein, we came up with the percentage share change.
We already understood a limitation to that statistic: Because percentage share is based, in part, on population, the statistics might be skewed towards higher population states. It still would provide a picture (after all, some small states were ranked fairly high like New Hampshire at 8th) but would need other statistics to buffer it.
For the second factor "percentage of fatal crashes that occurred on DST switches," we totaled the number of fatal crashes that occurred on DST switches in each state. We then divided that number by the total number of fatal crashes, coming up with a percentage of a state’s fatal crashes that happened on DST switches.
For the third factor, we cross-referenced Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data for licensed drivers in each state from 2013 to 2018 with the number of fatal crashes for each state on DST switches.
This gave us a mean for all states, from which each state subtracted its total, coming up with the split and percentages seen in the ranking sections. If you separate the FHWA data, which had licensed driver data points of 1.3 billion, 264 points of completed final data with everything calculated. A few calculations and numbers were used to get those 264 points, including the 1.3 billion points of licensed drivers.
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