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Fall Back Time Change and Colorado Car Accidents

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Oct 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Colorado lawmakers have joined a number of states in looking to put an end to changing clocks for Daylight Savings Time (DST). A state Senate Bill would make DST year-round, and eliminate the need to “spring forward” and “fall back” twice a year. A number of other states, including Washington, California, and Florida, have already passed bills for year-round DST but Congress would have to approve the changes for them to take effect. 

Currently, only Arizona and Hawaii are the states that do not observe DST. Until the laws are changed, Coloradoans will continue to change their clocks in the spring and fall. On November 1, 2020, at 2:00 a.m., the clocks will go back an hour, giving some people an extra hour to sleep in. However, studies have shown that the time change may have an impact on car accident rates

Daylight Savings and Car Accidents

A study in the journal Sleep Medicine looked at data from more than 20 years of car accidents. Taking the average number of fatal car accidents, the study found there was a “significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to DST.” There was also an increase in the number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from DST. 

The spring shift has drivers going to work on one hour less sleep, which may contribute to drowsy driving accidents. However, what is the reason for the increase in fall shift accidents on the DST Sunday? One possibility for the fall increase is that a number of people stay up later on the Saturday night before the time change, often involving drinking alcohol, with the understanding that they will get an extra hour to sleep in the next day. 

Based on the increased average of car accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift, there may be more fatal car accidents in Colorado on November 1, 2020. 

Increase in Fatal Car Accidents

A recent study by the University of Colorado Boulder found a similar increase in the rate of fatal car accidents. The 2020 research found a 6% increase in fatal car accidents during the workweek after the springtime shift. The study also found a decline in morning accidents after falling back but an increase in evening accidents, as drivers have to adjust to a darker drive home. 

Sun Glare Blinding Drivers 

Earlier this year, we wrote about the problem of sun glare causing car accidents in Denver. One of the times it becomes a bigger problem is during the shift in time for Daylight Savings Time, where commuters end up going to work an hour later and coming home an hour later. This may put the sunrise or sunset on the horizon and directly in the line of sight for drivers. 

This time of year also coincides with an increase in collisions with wildlife. An article in the Coloradoan found Colorado wildlife-vehicle collisions spike in November. Of Colorado car accidents with wildlife, 60% of the accidents in 2017 involved hitting deer

Getting Compensation After a Denver Accident

After an injury accident, getting money from the car insurance company can be like pulling teeth. Many people end up giving up or taking less than they are owed out of frustration. If you were injured in an accident and the other driver's insurance company is refusing to pay, do not hesitate to contact today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation.

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.


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