Daylight savings was introduced during the Second World War and was kept on to increase productivity. However, many now debate its usefulness to society, and highlight the dangers it brings, especially on our roads and in our workplaces. Although losing just one hour of sleep does not seem like a lot, the change in our routine have been shown to dull our mental sharpness and have negative effects on our health. One exhausted driver on the road can be a danger. Yet when everyone is tired, only increases the risks when the clocks go forward.
Studies show that our bodies go under stress during time changes. This leads to not only road accidents but workplace injuries and even heart attacks.
The average person sleeps seven hours a night, so by reducing this, our bodies can react in the following ways:
Our reaction time is slower due to a reduced blood flow to areas of the brain. This causes mood swings and our memories are impaired.
- A lack of blood flow to the brain can also affect our cognitive abilities, affecting driving and work performance.
- Sleep deprivation causes blood pressure to drop which can make you dizzy and produce drunk-like symptoms.
- A lack of sleep can be responsible for lower energy throughout the day.
Drivers require quick response times but without enough sleep, they are more at risk of being involved in a collision by either not responding fast enough to hazards or crossing pedestrians, or even falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue is the cause of almost 20% of the world’s road crashes. With most of these accidents occurring on long motorways and dual carriageways.
The main advice is to avoid driving when you are sleep deprived. However, here are some general tips to prepare yourselves for daylight savings:
- Ease into earlier bedtimes and earlier waking times
- Avoid screens and caffeine before you go to sleep
- Expose yourself to daylight as soon as you can
By thinking and planning ahead for the clocks changing, you can avoid the chances of being involved in an accident at work or on the road.
If you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Watermans Solicitors. Our team will talk you through your claim and will work to get you the best result for you to aid you through your recovery. You can also find out how much compensation you may be entitled to through our personal injury calculator.