Daylight saving is an annual occurrence in New York and across the nation. People expect it and might be under the impression that they can make a seamless transition without significant risk accompanying it. However, there are statistical and practical dangers that people will face on the roadways when there is the “fall back” in autumn. Changing the time might make it feel as if a person is getting an extra hour of sleep, but there are still inherent dangers on the roads. Understanding these can be critical to avoiding auto collisions.
According to a recent report, a survey about the time change shows that people are uncomfortable with adjusting to the new routine. One-quarter said that it had a negative impact on their daily commute and other regular activities. Driving to get to work can have increased dangers. 16% stated there was a greater likelihood that they would eat while commuting. While texting and driving is viewed as a common source of distraction, eating is also a distracting activity and can lead to danger.
6% said they were involved in a collision that was due to the time change. People tend to be drowsier and experience more distractions after daylight saving. Adjusting to the different level of light when driving in the morning and evening is also problematic. 27% of those who took part in the survey stated they felt at greater risk when they worked outside. One-third said they thought children were in greater danger when they were outside after the time change. While many advocate ending the ritual of changing the time twice per year, there is no sign that this will be a widespread step any time soon, even though Arizona and Hawaii have eliminated it.
The roads are dangerous enough for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians without needing to think about the possibility that something as fundamental and customary as the time change in the fall will make them more treacherous. Unfortunately, statistics and anecdotal evidence suggest that this is the case. When there are car accidents, serious injuries, lost income, fatalities and dramatic life changes can result.