Daylight savings time seems to be an inconvenience, especially when you are losing an hour of sleep. Did you know though that according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder, fatal car crashes spike six percent during the workweek following “springing forward,” resulting in a subsequent 28 additional deaths each year.
What is causing this? For one, there was a historical spike seen in 2007 when the Energy Policy Act extended daylight savings time to begin on the second Sunday of March instead of the first Sunday in April. This means that many people miss out on sleep and drive to work in darkness, both factors that contribute exponentially to crashes.
The increase in fatal crashes doesn’t just steadily creep up either, but instead begins immediately with the majority of those fatal crashes occurring in the morning. According to the University of Colorado, over the 22 years of data analyzed in the study, 627 people died in fatal car crashes associated with the spring shift to daylight savings time.
How Can You Help Your Employees Stay Safe?
- Ensure they get more sleep – cut them a bit of slack (unless of course they are slacking) and let them get into work when it’s light out.
- Alert employees in your company newsletter of these statistics so they are aware of the increased risk.
- Send them the link to something that awakens their circadian rhythm, like a sun-simulation alarm clock.
Most importantly, if you feel as if you cannot drive due to being overtired, do not put yourself or others in danger on the road. Being safe and avoidance of becoming a statistic will help you only be a better driver in the long run.