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The link between daylight saving and car crashes

Turning the clocks forward one hour may disrupt the sleep cycles of California residents. By losing an hour of sleep, the entire country feels effects equivalent to jet lag. Daylight saving time was originally started during World War I and became standard in the 1960s. However, some believe that it may have outlived its usefulness.

It may also be a public health hazard. One study that analyzed data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found an increase in road deaths on the Monday after the clocks were moved up an hour. On an average Monday, there were 78.2 road deaths over the 21 years of data analyzed in the study. However, on the Monday after the clock change, there were 83.5 road deaths. There was no evidence of an increase in crashes on the Sunday of the clock change.

This was attributed to the fact that people may be more likely to sleep in on Sundays. The effect has been documented outside of the United States as well. In 1996, a Canadian study found that there was an 8 percent increase in accidents after the clocks changed in the spring. A 1980 study in Great Britain also found an increase in accidents because of the time change.

Those who are involved in car accidents may suffer serious injuries that may take many months or years to heal. If the crash was caused by a negligent driver, injured victims may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills or help to recoup lost wages or future earnings. An attorney may use physical evidence or witness statements to prove negligence was the cause of the accident.

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