Understanding the Sunshine Protection Act
If you're like most people, you cringe at the thought of losing an hour of sleep when daylight saving time (DST) begins. And you're not alone—studies have shown that the start of DST significantly increases car accidents. Here's what you need to know and how Congress looks to end this yearly tradition.
Why is Daylight Saving Time Even a Thing?
DST was first enacted in the United States in 1918 to conserve energy during World War I. The thinking was that if people were awake during daylight hours, they would use less electricity.
While DST has been shown to save energy, there is evidence that it also leads to increased car accidents. A study by the University of Colorado (Boulder) found a 6% increase in traffic accidents the Monday after DST began.
The study also found a 5% increase in traffic accidents the Tuesday after DST ended. These results were consistent across different accidents, including those involving pedestrians and cyclists.
Why the Increase in Car Accidents?
There are a few theories as to why DST leads to increased car accidents. The first is that the time change can disrupt people's sleep patterns. This can lead to drowsy driving, a significant cause of car accidents.
The second theory is that the time change can cause confusion, especially at intersections. Traffic signals may be out of sync with the new time, leading to confusion and potential accidents.
The third theory is that the time change can lead to more darkness during the evening commute. This can make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists, leading to accidents.
How is Congress Reacting?
To help combat the issue, the U.S. Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act in March 2022. Under this legislation, DST would be permanent, eliminating the need for people to change their clocks twice a year.
If Congress passes the legislation, it could go into effect as soon as next year. This would be a major victory for those tired of losing an hour of sleep every spring.
The good news is that, in a world where few can agree on anything, there is finally some bipartisan support for this legislation. So, there is a good chance that DST could soon be a thing of the past.
In the meantime, if you are worried about increased car accidents during DST, make sure to take extra precautions when driving. This includes getting plenty of rest before hitting the road and being extra vigilant during the evening commute.
Texas Car Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the experienced team at The Payne Law Group can help. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation.