2013 Daylight Saving Change May Lead to Auto Insurance Increases

daylight saving time

The change in daylight saving time (DST) was intended to save energy. Whether successful or not remains up for debate, but it’s clear that the change disturbs individuals’ sleep patterns, leaving them tired and unfocused when driving on the road.

By being aware of this heightened danger, drivers can take precautions to prevent having an accident themselves due to the recent time change, while also preventing their auto insurance premiums to climb.

Daylight Saving Time Ends: Morning Gains, Evening Loss

[relatedposts]The New England Journal of Medicine looked at traffic accidents in Canada after changes in daylight saving time and found that, in the spring, drivers face an 8 percent increase in accidents during their Monday morning commute. The extra hour of sleep gained from the autumn change cuts morning accidents by the same amount, but evening commuters still suffer.

Another study by the publication “Accident Analysis & Prevention” suggested that leaving DST in place, rather than switching to a fall schedule with darkness arriving around 5 p.m., could eliminate 366 traffic fatalities a year among car occupants and pedestrians.

Although some studies don’t show such dramatic results, drivers should still take a moment to remember how important it is to get enough sleep. Many people, even during the autumn change, experience disturbed patterns in their sleep, making them tired the next day and more vulnerable for a collision.

Preventing Auto Insurance Hikes Due to Car Accidents

Drivers can lower their chances of having an accident after changes in daylight saving time by taking care to get more sleep. Don’t try to stay up late the first day; instead, go to bed an hour early and enjoy the extra hour of sleep. Individuals will need that extra hour when facing a darker evening commute.

Those who have a place to catnap during a lunch hour, can use this time to also avoid the risk of higher auto insurance as a result of a disturbed sleep pattern. A nap of 20 to 30 minutes can make a big difference in alertness for hours afterward. Studies suggest that exposure to daylight can help too, so consider taking a 20-minute walk, in lieu of (or after) your lunchtime nap.

Falling asleep behind the wheel, especially during a dark evening commute, is a recipe for trouble. Be vigilant and keep car insurance costs low by executing these easy precautions.

Photo: Dave Stokes