How Daylight Saving Can Affect Your Driving
When it comes to traffic citations in South Carolina, one thing that many drivers don’t expect to affect their chances of getting a ticket is daylight saving. While the earlier sunset of the winter time change is known to affect drivers, the United States National Library of Medicine states that there are also dangers that can start with the switch in the spring. Here are some dangers to be aware of as the change approaches on March 12, 2017.
The warming weather and increased hours of evening sunlight means more people are out on the streets. Whether it’s people riding bikes, families taking a walk or kids playing near the road, more people means more chances to get in an accident. Employees will also be more likely to bike to work since it will still be light as they head home, so keep your eyes peeled for runners and bikers sharing the road.
While the longer days can lift your mood and bring joy, the one-hour change means the sunrises you were enjoying on your morning commute may be replaced by dark night sky. Driving in the dark can be dangerous anytime, so be prepared for more careful and defensive driving if you commute in the early morning hours.
Altered Sleep Patterns
When you are forced to go to bed and get up at a different time than you are used to, your circadian rhythm is thrown off and requires some time to adjust. Since most employers do not allow their workers to stay home to adjust to daylight saving, that means more drowsy drivers are traveling the state’s roads. This leads to a slower reaction time and an increase in your risk of getting a ticket.
A person’s mood can also be altered by the time change. Studies have shown the time change can not only lead to drowsiness, but also anger, depression and a lack of patience. Drivers who are experiencing these emotions are often less careful and more likely to end up breaking the law. In fact, LiveScience.com states that the changes can be so severe that they can affect the physical health of some drivers. Studies have shown that heart attacks increase during the first few days following the springtime change.
The majority of drivers are able to safely transition during daylight savings, but your risks of getting a ticket or being involved in an accident is increased during this time of year. The most important step is to get enough sleep and be more aware while traveling to avoid any citations in South Carolina.