Los Angeles, CA- Gaining that extra hour of daylight in the spring may seem wonderful, but it turns out that springing the clock forward may have even more dangerous consequences; more workplace and traffic accidents occur and more people die of heart attacks.
Several studies over the past decade have confirmed that there are slight but significant increases in the number of accidents that take place on the Monday following Daylight Savings Time. Even though the hour of sleep we lose is on Sunday, when Monday comes people, who are still deprived of sleep, must take the kids to school, drive to work and carry out their day.
Sleep had been studied extensively and experts agree that one hour of sleep can make a huge difference. That small missed amount can add up and it is not easily made up. People are can be careless when driving or working if they lose sleep.
Health experts have spent a great deal of time examining the effects that Daylight Savings Time has on the human body.
One study, publish in a 2012 edition of the Sleep Journal by showed that heart attacks increased 3.9 percent in the week after daylight savings time, according to the Los Angeles Times. The study which was conducted in Sweden looked over hospital admission records and noticed the increase of myocardial infarctions and the risk was even higher for those taking heart medications.
But more than one study has concluded that traffic and workplace accidents increase during the week following the time change.
Workplace accidents are more frequent and more sever during this week, according to Journal of Applied Psychology in 2009. They analyzed 23 years of data relating to mining accidents from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and concluded that the number of accidents and severity of injuries.
Two studies from the 90s showed that fatal traffic accidents increased during this time. In 1996, the New England Journal of Medicine discovered traffic accidents increased 8.6 percent that Monday after Daylight Savings Time. Another study from 1999 which appeared in Sleep Medicine also found a significant increase in traffic accidents after studying 21 years of accident.
There are many other factors that can add up to a traffic collision, but knowing the possible risks can help people take care when driving, especially if they haven’t had enough sleep.
Drowsy driving is dangerous, yet many adults admit to falling asleep at the wheel. Each year several thousand people are injured by a drowsy driver.
Sleep deprivation affects a person’s ability to react in an emergency situation, affects their ability to make decisions and makes a driver less attentive, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Over 4 percent of adults drivers admit to falling asleep while driving and taking your eyes of the road for just five seconds can lead to a serious accident.
For some, the increase in accidents in enough for us to with Daylight Savings Time, since we are no longer an agricultural society that is dependent on daylight. If we were to quit changing the time thousands of traffic and workplace accidents could be eliminated.
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