Imagine you’re driving home from work in November. The sun is already setting, even though it’s only 6:00PM. After a day of work, you feel more tired than normal. You squint your eyes to see the road ahead, but the sun glare is too bright. This is a reality commuters face during daylight saving time, and it could put you in danger.
Daylight saving time is the practice of moving the clocks forward by one hour in the spring and back by one hour in the fall. It’s supposed to save energy and make better use of natural light. But it also has a dark side. It can disrupt your sleep, your mood, your visibility on the road, and your driving safety.
The Deer Factor
You may have heard that daylight saving time can mess up your sleep and your mood. But did you know that it can also affect the deer population and your driving safety?
A study published in Current Biology found that the week after the end of daylight saving time has a 16% increase in deer-vehicle crashes. The researchers estimate that if we keep daylight saving time all year long, we could avoid 33 human deaths, 2,054 human injuries, and $1.19 billion in collision costs every year.
Now let’s discuss the risks of driving during twilight hours.
The Risks During Dusk and Dawn
Driving during twilight hours – dusk and dawn – presents unique challenges for drivers. The National Safety Council points out that the highest number of accidents, fatal and otherwise, in 2020 occurred between 4:00 PM and 7:59 PM, coinciding with sunset and twilight. Similarly, dawn drives, often in semi-darkness or with a rising sun, can create dangerous glare, particularly during busy morning commutes.
To stay safe during these high-risk times, consider adopting these practices:
- Regularly clean your windshield for better visibility.
- Use polarized sunglasses to reduce sun glare.
- Employ the flip-down shade in your vehicle during intense sunlight.
- Drive at reduced speeds to react safely to unexpected situations.
- Increase your following distance to give yourself more time to react.
- Consider window tinting for additional glare reduction.
- Take breaks to rest, especially on longer drives, to maintain alertness.
Understanding and adapting to these conditions can significantly reduce your risk on the road during these challenging times of day.
Track Sunrise and Sunset
Knowing the sunrise and sunset times is helpful. Simply ask Siri or look it up online. You can use this information to plan your journey and avoid driving during the most dangerous times. Here are some helpful apps and website:
- Sunrise and Sunset Calculator: This website lets you calculate the local times for sunrise, sunset, and other sun-related events based on your latitude and longitude.
- SunCalc: This website shows you the sun movement and sunlight phases during the day on a map for any location of the world. You can also see the shadow length, solar eclipse, sun position, and sun phase.
- Sunrise Sunset Times: This website displays the daily sun rise and set times for the U.S. and Canada. It also shows you the length of day, dawn and dusk times, and the sun distance and altitude.
Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Today
When the time changes, drivers have a higher risk of deer crashes, sun glare, and fatigue. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident during these conditions, you are not alone. Reach out to Flanagan Law today for a free consultation. As experienced attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.