Correlation Between Springtime Change And Increased Workplace Injuries

daylight savings time

Americans often have strong opinions on Daylight Saving Time (DST). Some people prefer having more daylight in the morning and evening, but others like the opposite. DST occurs around the middle of March, and some evidence suggests it leads to more job-related injuries. Learn about this topic below. If you were hurt recently in an accident, speak to our Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian for assistance.

What Is Daylight Saving Time?

DST is the practice of moving clocks forward an hour in many countries as warmer weather occurs in the spring. The time is then turned back in the fall as cooler weather approaches.

The idea behind DST is to provide more efficient use of the available daylight hours by increasing the number of daylight hours in the evening. In most US states, clocks are moved forward an hour in the second week of March. They are moved back during the first week of November. However, Hawaii and Arizona do not currently observe DST. Daylight Saving Time was proposed in 1895 by a New Zealand scientist who gathered insects as a hobby. He aimed to have more daylight hours after his job to collect bugs.

How Does Daylight Saving Time Lead To More Workplace Injuries?

Two researchers at Michigan State University recently did a project that may suggest more accidents happen at work after the springtime change. Investigators David Wagner and Christopher Barnes claim that the number of job-related accidents rises after Daylight Saving Time goes into effect every March. However, they also found no increase in job-related injuries when clocks were turned back an hour every fall.

They did two separate studies that found the change to Daylight Savings Time led to 40 minutes less sleep for US workers. This caused a 5.7% increase in job-related injuries and 70% more work lost because of injuries. The researchers relied on US Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration data for these conclusions. Their research will be published in the September edition of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Can Losing Only 1 Hour Of Sleep Cause More Job-Related Injuries?

Barnes claimed in the research that losing one hour of sleep can make a significant difference. This is especially true for people in jobs that require great attention to detail. However, other studies have shown that losing sleep causes people to lose concentration on the job.

Barnes continued that many industries, such as trucking, have put rules in place that limit the number of consecutive hours truckers can drive without resting.

The researchers also noted that other scientists sometimes claim that a one-hour time change could not cause more accidents at work. However, they argue that the springtime change increases the severity and number of job-related accidents.

Further, a University of British Columbia study used data from the Canadian Ministry of Transport and found that when Canada changed to DST, there were 8% more accidents the day after the change.

Barnes noted in the research that many believe that only a one-hour change should not make a big difference in their sleep patterns, but it can.

Why Trucking Companies Must Follow Hours-Of-Service Rules

The research above shows how Daylight Saving Time changes can cause more accidents on the job. In addition, we have seen for years that workers who get less sleep can make mistakes in critical positions.

For example, the US government has recognized for years the severe danger of truck accidents when drivers do not get enough sleep. As a result, the US and state governments imposed limits on how long a trucker can drive without taking a break. If the truck driver is found in violation, the US government can fine the company.

Hours-of-service rules attempt to reduce the number of tired truck drivers on the road by mandating rest periods and lowering the number of hours truckers can stay on the road. These are effective and necessary laws; far too many tired truck drivers get in severe accidents with passenger vehicles. These terrifying crashes cause severe and fatal injuries every day in the United States.

Hours-Of-Service Rules For California Truck Drivers

Truck drivers in California must take breaks at defined intervals to ensure they have had enough sleep to drive safely. For trips inside California, truckers must follow these rules:

  • Truckers can only drive up to 12 hours after being off duty for at least 10 hours.
  • After working for 16 hours, whether or not they were driving, truckers must rest for 10 hours.
  • Drivers cannot drive their trucks after being on duty for 80 hours in eight days.

For drives outside California, truckers must follow these rules:

  • Truckers could be on duty for up to 14 hours if they were off-duty for at least 16 hours. The 14-hour window starts as soon as the driver clocks in. After that, it does not matter whether they drive their rig.
  • During the 14 hours, truckers can only be behind the wheel for as long as 11 hours.
  • Truckers have to rest for at least 30 minutes if it has been eight hours since they slept.
  • Drivers may only drive for 60 or 70 hours in a seven-day or eight-day workweek.

Other Causes Of Truck Accidents

Fatigued driving is not the only cause of truck accidents, but it is one of the biggest. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that safety defects are another common cause of truck crashes. Other crashes happen because the truck driver is not driving carefully or safely.

Call A Glendale Personal Injury Attorney Now

There are many severe accidents in the US every day. Many of these accidents happen on the highways and involve truck drivers. Sometimes the truckers did not get enough sleep, leading to the accident. Other accidents may have occurred because the worker was tired after the change to Daylight Saving Time.

Whatever the reason for the accident, the Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian may be able to help you with a personal injury claim if someone’s negligence caused the accident. Please contact our Glendale personal injury lawyers for a complimentary consultation about your case at (818) 550-7777.