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Daylight Saving Time Means More Traffic Accidents

A wrecked car (credit: ClipArt.com)

A wrecked car (credit: ClipArt.com)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Turning the clocks forward not only wreaks havoc with our internal body clocks, it causes a spike in traffic accidents.

“It turns out Monday after daylight saving time is one of the deadliest days on the road,” “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, a former New York City transportation commissioner, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

A study analyzing a decade’s worth of data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System showed a 17-percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after clocks spring forward.

“Researchers believe it has to do with the fact that many people just don’t get a good night’s sleep the first night of daylight saving time, and it takes about a week to get acclimated,” Schwartz said.

“I saw a pattern that would occur typically on the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time would be put into effect,” he said. “And I saw a lot of early-morning rush hour crashes.”

Schwartz said truckers were usually involved in the accidents.

“Their reaction times aren’t going to be as good as they normally are,” he said.

Schwartz’s advice: Drive defensively and perhaps have an extra cup of coffee.

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