Report: car crashes increase following Daylight Saving time chan - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Report: car crashes increase following Daylight Saving time change

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Most were asleep Sunday morning when clocks sprung ahead from 1:59 a.m. To 3:00 a.m. to adjust for Daylight Saving Time. The 100-year-old practice was once useful for preserving coal supplies during World War I, and later benefited farmers as well, but these days it's proving to be a bit of a safety hazard.

"I'm not driving and I would be sleepy if I was," Tammi Petri, a Petaluma resident, said.  

"I'm a little extra tired from losing an hour of sleep," said Rob Johnson, a San Luis Obispo resident.

In the week following the Daylight Saving shift, fatal accidents increase by 6.3 percent, according to a study done at the University of Colorado.  According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal car accidents spike by 17 percent the Monday following the time change.

Local drivers say while they might trust themselves on the road this week, they don't trust other drivers who may be lacking sleep.

"They're weaving a little bit, they're eyes are maybe when you're passing them not completely open," Petri explained.

"I have a very short commute thankfully, but I will be mindful and keep my eyes open," Johnson said.

"I'll probably drive a little safer," San Luis Obispo resident Austin Bertucci said, thinking of his morning commute.

AAA says some warning signs of drowsy driving include drifting in and out of your lane, struggling to keep your eyes open, and not being able to remember the last few miles that you've driven.

While the roads might not be as safe the week following the shift to Daylight Saving Time, a study from the Review of Economics and Statistics shows Sunday's crime rate could see an average national drop of seven percent for the day, thanks to the extra hour of sunlight.

"When there's more sun, it's harder to commit crime because you don't have the cover of night," Ross Cordio of San Luis Obispo said.

"People are too tired to commit a crime," Amanda Johnson, also a SLO resident, said with a smile

A few locals did say they didn't notice the time change or the missing hour of sleep, however, most said they'd rather like to see the time change done away with.

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