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Don’t forget is this weekend is Daylight Savings Time. On Sunday, March 14th at 2 a.m., Californians will shift their clocks forward one hour. That means everyone loses one hour of sleep. Once they wake, however, drivers will have to be aware that the roads are half as safe as they were when they feel asleep on Saturday night.

Besides being extra sleepy, researchers say that “springing forward” has dangerous consequences. A study done by Stanford and Johns Hopkins University discovered that there is a small but significant jump in road deaths on the Monday after clocks move forward in the spring. On a typical Monday, the average deaths are around 78.2 but on spring forward Monday, this increases to 83.5. Although it is a small jump, it can prove that daylight savings can be a factor of car accidents in California.

Numerous studies have examined why there are more car accidents during daylight savings time. The overall conclusion is that sleep deprivation and the disruption of regular sleep patterns is the underlining cause of collisions.

There are various functions that can hinder safe driving. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, health, memory, and judgment. Shortening your sleep cycle by even one hour can put you in a state of “mini-jetlag,” During sleep, the brain’s neural pathways recharge. Without enough rest, the signals it sends to the body may be delayed or cause a decreasing coordination. It can also cause irritability and compromise your ability to make good judgments.

How to Prepare for the Time Change

There are ways to get ahead of the time change and prepare your body for the “spring ahead”.

  • Adjust your wake times by going to bed about 15 min earlier each night for a few days before Daylight Savings Time.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Aim to eat your meals about an hour earlier than usual.
  • Make your room bright as soon as you wake up.
  • Exercise.

There were several ballot measures to get Daylight Savings time to be eliminated. Some states like Arizona do not practice daylight savings. As of now, Daylight Savings Time is still part of our routine in California. Please be safe on the road. If you are injured in an accident, please call the Offices of Payam Y. Poursalimi at 877-PAYAMLA for a free consultation. 

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