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Daylight saving time, car accidents and urgent care
On October 28, it was the time to “fall back” an hour. Although this gained hour is delightful for the day – an hour more sleep without even planning to! – it can wreak havoc on our routines (children’s routines, especially) and our safety!
Although the end of daylight saving time doesn’t have nearly the impact on our health as the start of it, studies show that there are statistically more car accidents in the two weeks after daylight saving time ends than in the two weeks before. Some doctors suspect it is because we overestimate how rested we are, but some think that it’s simply a function of earlier evenings.
When we fall back in October, suddenly we’re thrown into darkness an hour earlier. That overnight change has the biggest impact on the visibility of pedestrians and cyclists. While drivers knew when to expect them before, it is now dusk or already dark, and it can be hard from them to adjust and react.
Lifeguard Urgent Care’s auto injury clinic in Spring Hill has a few tips for avoiding accidents year-round:
- Stay alert – Don’t assume that just because you drive a route every day, there can’t be surprises. It is when we drive on auto-pilot that problems go from being minor to disastrous – unexpected pedestrians, bicyclists without reflective gear, a dog running into the street. Especially during the time change, expect the unexpected and drive defensively.
- Slow down – The difference between an accident at 30 mph and 50 mph can be deadly. Higher speeds mean you have less time to react to an unexpected event. With more and more people on the road in Hernando County, you might think that there’s hardly an opportunity to speed. Of course there is! Speed is a top contributor to crashes, and those injured end up in our auto injury clinic Spring Hill, or worse.
- Cut out distractions – First, it was changing the dials on the radio that was dangerous, then it was changing the CD. In the ‘90s, we got mobile phones in the car, and in the ‘2000s, texting. As the years pass, it seems like all our devices just make us more unsafe. Well – if you use them incorrectly. We can’t emphasize it enough: Put away your phone. No calling, no texting, no photos, no Snaps, no Vines. Your life isn’t worth it.
- Get some sleep! – The week after the time change is the perfect time to establish a new routine. Take advantage of the early darkness and go to sleep one hour earlier. Not only will you be more productive at work, you’ll be safer on the road.
Our car accident doctor in Spring Hill sees drivers and passengers who have been involved in collisions every day. We want you to avoid it, but if you do get into accident, Lifeguard Urgent Care Spring Hill is available to help. Whether it’s whiplash that requires an X-ray or a broken bone, sprain, or contusion from the impact, our Spring Hill Urgent Care can treat it. We are open 7 days a week!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.