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Fort Lauderdale Accident Injury Lawyer Advises Caution After Time Change

March 15, 2010

Beware of Daylight Savings Time! Fort Lauderdale Accident Injury Lawyer Joseph M. Maus notes that statistics show that injuries on the road and at work increase between 8 and 17 percent on the Monday following the time change and for a couple of weeks afterward. Since "Spring Forward" happens on March 14, 2010 at 2:00 a.m. and you’ll lose an extra hour of sleep, you need to be extra cautious on your Monday commute and during the work day.

The University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychology undertook a study on how time changes affect people. They found that the fall time change doesn’t really affect people, probably because we get to sleep in an extra hour. But, it’s a different story when the clocks move ahead an hour in the spring – accidents go up. The most likely reason for this increase in accidents is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation and the change of circadian rhythm can trigger mental illness and cause higher accident rates. Transitions into and out of daylight saving time changes the circadian rhythm and may cause sleep deprivation.

A second reason for the spike in accidents on the first Monday of DST is the sudden change in the amount of light during driving times. In addition to an increase in accidents at work and on the road, the Los Angeles Times Health section reported on a Swedish study that found the incidents of heart attacks rises between 6 and 10 percent on the first three days after the time change. They also noted that men are more likely to commit suicide during the first few weeks of daylight saving time than they are during the rest of the year.

People wonder why it is that we even have to go through the whole "spring forward, fall backward" ritual every year. The U. S. Navy reported that the Standard Time Act was established in 1918 and made time zones a national law. The same Act also instituted daylight saving time. Daylight saving time was repealed in 1919, but was re-established nationally early in World War II as a way to conserve coal and energy, and was continuously observed from 9 February 1942 to 30 September 1945. After the war its use varied among states and localities. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided standardization in the dates of beginning and end of daylight time in the U.S. but allowed for local exemptions from its observance.

Tips for minimizing the impact of the time change:

  • Stick to your regular schedule.
  • Resist the urge to sleep in on Sunday morning.
  • Get up immediately when the alarm rings in the morning, don’t hit the snooze button.
  • Turn off the laptop and the TV in bedroom at least one hour before bedtime- the glow may prevent you from falling into a deep sleep.
  • Eat a good breakfast before heading off to work. Eat foods that are high in protein and fiber – they metabolize slowly and will give you hours of energy.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going.
  • Fort Lauderdale accident injury lawyer Joseph Maus reminds you that this is the time to drive defensively! Leave plenty of space between you and the next car.
  • Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving, but especially not right after the time change when you are less alert than usual.
  • Watch out for cars if you are walking or biking.
  • Don’t forget to change your smoke detector batteries every time we have a time change.

For more information about an injury, contact Fort Lauderdale accident injury lawyer Joseph M. Maus, P.A.at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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